Make Valentines Day Special For Your Kids!

Happy February 1st! To commence the beginning of all things hearts and valentines, I thought it’d be only suitable to kick off the month with a few ways on how to make the holiday special for your kids!

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1.) Valentines themed breakfast- start off the day with a special breakfast that your kiddos are sure to love! Depending on your artistic ability, you can free hand heart shaped pancakes or use a cookie cutter in the pain to hold the shape, also use this method to shape fried eggs! Cut up fruit into heart shapes to make a lovers fruit salad! For some extra fun get some simple, cute table decor at your local Dollar Store or Target!

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2.) Make a special valentines mailbox for each child- Using a shoebox or cereal box, wrap the boxes in your choice of wrapping paper and if your kiddos are old enough let them decorate their own boxes! It’s a super simple idea but such a great bonding activity!!

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3.) Write love letters to your children. “Mail” (put it in their decorated mailbox) your letters & small gifts! Some gift ideas- arts and craft supplies, such as paint, crayons, stickers, coloring books. Outside activities like chalk or bubbles. For the girly girls a Valentines headband, or hair bows would be great, too! Wrap up the gifts for an extra special touch.

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4.) Make some Valentines themed crafts- help your kids make cards for family & friends. Fold colored construction paper hamburger or hot dog style, let them color, paint, add glitter, stickers, etc.!
Another super simple craft idea; cut out a small to medium size heart shape, use a small amount of double sided tape to tape down the shape to a white piece of paper. Let your kids finger paint all over the white paper and let dry. Then remove the taped down heart!

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5.) Have a special Valentines family dinner- eating dinner as a family may not seem that exciting if you already do that every night but by adding a little decor and themed food the kids have a blast! Some fun food ideas you could do; spaghetti & heart shaped meatballs, heart shaped pizza, heart shaped burgers.. you get the idea anything heart shaped works! Light some candles and make an evening of it!

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6.) For the daddy’s out there- get your daughter flowers and take her on a daddy daughter date! For your boys, mommas take your son on a date! Teach your boys manners & set an example for your daughters!

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Thank you for reading, I hope you all enjoyed my few ideas on how to make this fun month special for your kiddos! Do you think you’ll do any of them?! I know I’ll be doing all of it!

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Baby Number Three – Birth Story

December 12, 2018- Early afternoon my mucus plug finally came out. I’d been praying for something to happen (get this baby ball rolling) since I had been having contractions for what felt like the whole month of November and December. Shortly after that discovery, my contractions picked up and I felt for certain it was happening! I also started getting very nauseous and dizzy. I used my peppermint essential oils to help. (Essential oils really helped me through my whole labor). I labored in the shower for quiet awhile, too. The steam and my eucalyptus & mint body wash really saved me. I went in to my doctors office to get checked. I was 4cm dilated and 70% effaced. I thought ‘This is it! I’ll be having this baby tonight!’ I was so excited and ready to meet my baby girl, who still didn’t have a name. My mom came right over (she was my birth partner since David was out of town during my Hypnobirthing class) and she spent the night. I labored all night with strong contractions but they were not consistent. Eventually my adrenaline went away and I was exhausted, so I went to bed and contractions slowed.

December 13, 2018- My mom took the day off work to stay with me and the kids. I had sporadic contractions all day but nothing as strong as I was hoping for. I started to get a little upset, I thought for sure when my mucus plug came out that I’d be in active labor within hours (that’s what happened with my first baby, Nina). Also my mom was taking time off of work to help and to be with me if  I needed to go to the hospital quickly, but baby girl was just taking her sweet time. I did however, have a really nice relaxing day with my mom and I was so grateful for that. With labor being so sporadic, I knew what I needed to do. Of all the old wives tales about how to jumpstart labor, I knew only one thing could really get things moving. SEX! SO, that evening, my mom took the kids out for a little drive and left David and I to “jump” start labor! HA HA get my pun! 😉 Very shortly after, my contractions picked up in strength and consistency!! (6-4 min apart lasting about 1-2 min each). I rolled on my birthing ball for awhile and did different positions to help ease discomfort. I knew it was time to go to the hospital when I really needed to focus on my breathing and relax. I couldn’t be around my crazy kids for that unfortunately. Around 9:30pm, David packed up the car and I said my goodbyes to Nina and Mateo. In that moment, I felt my heart break a little, leaving my two babies at home, knowing that when I came back, all of our lives would be forever changed. Due to our other family members, who originally were going to watch the kids, being sick, my Mom stayed home with Nina and Mateo instead of going to the hospital with me. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little nervous about not having my birth partner and my mom with me. She was with me through my other two births, but I felt comforted knowing my kids were happy and well taken care of with her. I knew I was strong, I knew I could it.

Around 10 PM we arrived at the hospital, I stayed in triage for about an hour. Laying down while they monitored me my contractions were much stronger and with being checked often I was unable to really focus and relax. I struggled, contemplating if I wanted to get an epidural already. I was only 5cm dilated 80% or more effaced. Before I was admitted they told me I’d have an on call doctor till 8 AM next day when my doctor would be back. At first that news kind of scared me but I quickly accepted it and didn’t stress about it at all. I knew I could still have the birth I wanted no matter what doctor I had. I was admitted, and we settled into our labor & delivery room. I told my nurse for the night that I didn’t want to be hooked up and was trying to not get an epidural. She was very encouraging and accommodating, she gave me an IV line and monitored me intermittently. As long as baby looked good every hour or so I could stay unhooked. I met the on call doctor and really liked him. He was very calm and supportive of whatever I wanted. I labored unmedicated all night. It was very calm, David slept and I honestly didn’t mind. I was focused, I felt very at peace and also excited to be bring my baby girl into the world. I rolled on the birth ball, watched New Girl and Friends, walked around the room, used my essential oils when nausea hit and that helped a lot. I also listened to my affirmations and rainbow relaxation recording which put me in a deep almost sleep like state, so I did that only when I was laying down. For me it felt better to be up walking, squatting or on the ball than to be sitting or laying down on the bed. Eventually around 4 or 5AM I got so tired I had to lay down and try to get some sleep, contractions slowed down. I was checked at 6:30 AM because shift changes were about to happen and my nurse wanted to know where I was at. I was 7cm dilated, fully effaced and very soft. I wanted to continue to labor on my own. Shift change occurred around, I think, 7 AM, and I was given a new labor and delivery nurse. I loved her, she was an older lady, so sweet, very supportive and encouraging. I was so grateful for her. If your nurse is supportive and kind, your birth experience is so much better, so thank you Jesus for giving me a good one!

At 8:30 AM my doctor was back in office. She came in and checked me, I was still 7cm. She then demanded that my water needed to be broken and I be given Pitocin. According to her at the time, I had been at it for too long- that pissed me off. As soon as I heard ‘Pitocin’, I got scared. I did NOT want to get Pitocin, especially unmedicated. My doctor broke my water at around 9 AM & ordered the Pitocin. Out of fear and anger I asked for an epidural. They put a hold on the Pitocin till after I got the epidural. The anesthesiologist came in at around 10 AM, by then my contractions were so incredibly strong. I was really trying to get back into my relaxed, calm state of mind, but due to my demanding doctor, and all the chaos of everything, I was officially out of my Zen. I was scared and upset and when fear creeps in that  fear leads to tension which leads to pain. So in the end I was grateful for the epidural (but I still blame my doctor, she completely disregarded my wants in the moment even though she knew my wishes). I ended up not needing the Pitocin however, because less than 30 min later I pushed TWO times and baby Noella Grace was born at 10:33am. (David and I officially decided her name after she was born).

Even though it seemed I hit speed bumps around every corner I still felt strong and capable. I enjoyed my birth experience. It was calm and peaceful for the majority of it and it brought me my beautiful baby girl. I’m thankful for my two supportive nurses, David, who was a great support as well, and my mom. Even though she wasn’t with me in person I felt her support, her love and was comforted by her immensely.

Thank you for reading!

xoxo,

Briannie

December Baby

Welcome to my first bump update! I’m going to start doing quick updates every few weeks to keep a log of all my symptoms, feelings and life/pregnancy news. Kind of like a personal journal but I’m going to share it here with you guys! At my 20 week ultrasound appointment last Monday the 13th, they confirmed I was 22 weeks and my due date is officially set for December 17th, 2018! (Today I am 23 weeks!) At the ultrasound last week baby was all  healthy and measuring small! Which to be honest I am grateful for! My last pregnancy with my son, Mateo, he was such a huge baby and pushing was not as much of a breeze as my first! Going into this pregnancy I was so nervous this baby would be even bigger! So my fears have been calmed hearing she’s going to be petit like my little Nina!

The past few weeks I haven’t experienced too many symptoms besides some round ligament pain but it’s been pretty minor. I do feel her moving a lot now and she’s starting to feel a little heavy, even though at the ultrasound she was weighing just under 1lb! I think I’m just really starting to feel like she’s taking up more room in there! I’m pretty sure the occasional lower pressure I’m feeling is the round ligament pain, and my uterus growing. Which fascinates me, you’d think by the third time around, uterus would be pretty stretched and used to this gig by now!

I’ve started going to the chiropractor weekly and I am 100% grateful I made the decision to do that, she has already helped me so much! Plus I just really like her as a person as well! She’s a fellow crunchy mom so we have lots in common! I never realized how much pain I was actually dealing with, till I wasn’t dealing with it anymore! I think I may have had some lower back damage from high school cheer and gymnastics. I’ve dealt with the pain for so long, and it’s only gotten worse through pregnancies, but with only a few adjustments so far I’ve felt such an improvement! She has also been correcting/adjusting my hips, I guess they were pretty out of alignment as well, which I’ve learned is going to help with an easier labor! (YAY!) I feel like finally taking the jump into going to the chiropractor is truly such a great investment, it’s like I’m treating myself but I actually really needed it.

Another little self care to-do I’m going to be checking off my second trimester checklist is getting a prenatal massage! I’ve never gotten a massage before but I’ve been reading of it’s really great benefits, and I think this momma not only needs it but deserves it! Right?! I’ve been juggling the two kids while David has been working out of town, (for hopefully not much longer), and being pregnant has been…least to say, not the most fun. I’m definitely grateful however. Grateful David has an amazing job that pays him well and I get the privilege of staying home with my crazy kiddos. Also I’m insanely grateful for my family I have here in Arizona to help me! With those breaks that family has been able to give me, even if it’s just to watch the kids so I can go to the store or Doctors appointments by myself, is TRULY a God-send!

A little discovery I’ve been excited and researching about the past week is Holistic Hypnobirthing. Actually my amazing chiropractor was the one who introduced me to the method, then connected me with a local girl who teaches classes! The fall classes start in October so signing up is on my immediate to-do list! If any of my readers know anything about Hybnobirthing, please reach out to me, share your experiences! With the thought of this possibly being my last baby I want to experience all there is, so I’m really wanting to conquer my fear of labor pain and be able to birth baby girl naturally! I actually wanted to do natural births with both my other two but fear really got the best of me. So this time around I’m going to armor myself with knowledge! (*insert strong arm emoji here*) LOL!

This is the class I am signing up for: Holistic Hypnobirthing AZ

This week I also reserved my baby shower location at the adorable Joss + J, as well as got some really pretty photos taken of the baby bump! Shot at Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert by my very talented sister in-law, Cecilia Lobatos. (Instagram: @_lobatos_ ).

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These were so fun to shoot and even though I’ve been feeling so self-conscious and fat, I honestly really love these. I won’t lie, in some I initially cringed because of the extra bumps and rolls, but I can kind of see the beauty in the realness of it. I feel like even though my body isn’t the perfect, cute, petite, you can only tell she’s pregnant from the side, kind of body. I’ve been trying to embrace the whole love your body no matter the size movement, especially because I’m making another life in there right now! I can only love and appreciate God’s beautiful design!

Thank you for reading my 23 week update! I’ll be back in a few weeks with another one! I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know if your pregnant  or trying!

xoxo, briannie

Baby Number Three

It’s funny how things happen in life when you least expect it, yet you almost knew it was going to happen… Do I contradict myself, yes? Well then I contradict myself.

In March of this year, I attended one of my dear friends’ baby shower, while conversing with my friends and fellow mommas, we of course talked about who was going to get pregnant next. A few of my friends trying for their second or even first child with no luck so far. I felt a wrongful twang of jealousy since I seem to get pregnant whether I want to or not.  I jokingly stated David could sneeze on me and I’d get pregnant and wished I could give my friends my fertile mertile juju.

Later that month, I ended up taking a pregnancy test because I was having some symptoms and my cycle was late. It was negative so I chalked it all up to ovulation and other outside reasons. I was grateful for the negative result but not going to lie, I also felt a little empty uterus syndrome…that’s a thing right? My first baby is already four and my second turning two in July! For some crazy, insane, God must be messing with me, reasons…I was having massive baby fever. While talking to David about possibly being pregnant (before I took the test) we jokingly called her baby Luna and contemplated what life would be like with three kids. Could we do it? We love our babies but it’s so much work! Do we really want to have another to take our attention away from the newly two year old and four/almost five year old who needs more attention than most. No way. So Luna was just a passing joke we would blame my hormones or cravings on.

Do you think speaking something out into the universe makes it a reality? I’m starting to believe that. I know God has a plan for our lives, but I also know we have free will… So is it fate, a plan, or just simply an accident? Or do we have more control then we even realize?

Jump to mid April, I’m counting down the days from the one night of chance David took… Come April 20th I take an at home pregnancy test and to no surprise, it was positive. My initial reaction was excited, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone! Then reality sunk in and I started to feel the evil trickle of fear. With all of my pregnancies, they’ve come unplanned accompanied with a sinking feeling of shame. I was always too young, unmarried and not prepared. I’d feel the negative beast on my back the whole pregnancy, up till the birth, then everything would go away as I’d lay in the hospital bed with my new baby and feel nothing but blessed.

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For weeks after my positive pregnancy test I watched birth vlogs on YouTube, I was hoping those videos would give me that sense of comfort that no matter the stresses through pregnancy and the difficulties after, that feeling of holding your freshly born baby could take all the fear away. After a lot of talking to God, family and friends, I felt like I could embrace this pregnancy with a positivity and happiness instead of shame. So what if this was unplanned? What does it matter if we’re in the process of moving back to Arizona from El Paso? Who cares that I’m only 24 going to have three kids. I certainly don’t, they are my happiness. I love them so much, they are my world, my life and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

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Real life struggles of trying to get both kids to take a cute Instagram

So, as of today, July 27th I am 18 or 19 weeks! Due date is still a little uncertain (Dec. 17 or Dec. 23) my first ultrasound they couldn’t get all the measurements they needed. I guess baby was sitting in a bad position and wouldn’t move! (Stubborn like mom) However, I have the big ultrasound next week where they will be getting some better measurements, so I think my due date will be more accurate after that!

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I did go to a gender reveal ultrasound at around 15 weeks (because I am so impatient) and we found out baby number three is a GIRL! I have no idea how I knew she was a girl but I just knew she was, guess it’s mommas intuition. LOL! I am so excited to be blessed with another sweet girl! I can’t wait for Nina to have a sister, ( I can’t wait to put them in matchy outfits!) I know she is going to be the sweetest big sister ever! Mateo sure doesn’t like the idea of not being the baby anymore but I know he’ll be excited when she’s here and be a great big brother! I am so excited to share this journey with all of you and be able to look back in a few years to reminisce on all of it! Coming next should be Bump Update 20 Weeks! (I’ll update after my next doctors appointment).

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XOXO,

Briannie

 

Follow along my pregnancy journey with me on my Instagram @annietackett1

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Mom Guilt

As I’m writing this, I am sitting on my couch; my little girl (Nina) is sitting besides me, and my trouble maker – almost two year old (Mateo) is playing with the broom causing destruction and mayhem – per usual. The kitchen is an absolute mess, there’s clean laundry to be folded and mountains of dirty laundry to be washed. For breakfast we’ve eaten flax muffins and cereal, all because I can’t cook unless I clean the kitchen first. Which will happen at some point today but for right now I’m deciding to do something for me first. Yet here I am with ultimate ‘mom guilt’. I should be cleaning my destroyed house, and cooking a healthy breakfast/lunch. I could be crafting or reading with the kids instead of watching Jurassic Park for the hundredth time.

Why is it that every time I try or want to do something for myself I always get little annoying guilty twangs telling me I should be doing something else. I’ve tried to sit down to write for a few weeks, but every time I get about a paragraph out before giving up because I just can’t take the guilt, and the endless mess in front of me. It’s funny now that I’m thinking about it, taking a shower is about the only time I get a little bit of solitude, even then I’m scurrying through my routine so quickly I don’t get to enjoy the process. Although I don’t get so much me time, I’m no stranger to treating myself a little. However, treating myself usually consists of midnight online shopping, you know that kind of shopping, when your laying in bed and everyone is asleep but of course your brain won’t shut off so you start Instagram shopping and thinking ‘oh yaaasss I deserve this…I’ll just apologize later when hubby finds out…’. Obviously, that’s gotten me into some trouble with the bread winner of the house from spending a pretty penny on “unnecessary” items. (Usually jewelry, purses, or clothes) hehe… My bad. I’ve been spending less time on me time but instead filling my days with constant chores and busy work. Which don’t get me wrong, I thrive off To-Do lists and scheduled out days, but this mom is realizing I need to schedule in some fun mom activities, too.

Which brings me to my final thought. As much as I’ve enjoyed living in El Paso to support David, and to be on this adventure together; I am so excited to move back to Arizona. I have missed my family and friends so much. Every time I go back for a weekend I can’t help but feel I need more time there. My family (friends I consider family) have kept me sane and grounded. I couldn’t live this life without them and God definitely put them in my life for that reason. Having them close by as a support system is something I’ve come to realize is so important, even crucial when surviving with kids. It takes a village, and I am so excited to get back to my village.

Here’s some cute pictures from my nephews ‘Wild One’ birthday party & our weekend in AZ. (4/28/18)

 

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The décor was so adorable!

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The Birthday Boy!

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Cousin’s are your child’s first best friends 

 

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Mateo’s first experience with a cake-pop

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Getting some Auntie Jackie love
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Max’s first Piñata!
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Of course David had to be the one to get on the roof…
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Max & his mommy (my sister in-law)

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Asleep within minutes 

 

The next day was Sunday, we had a little pool party fun!

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Nina wouldn’t get in the pool because I didn’t get in!

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Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Briannie

 

 

My Current Skin Care Routine

Spring has sprung in El Paso! The weather has been so beautiful, and I’ve been so grateful for the warmer temps! I don’t have a whole lot of winter wardrobe- I am very much an Arizonian, but also I’m so excited to wear some fresh spring colors that I’ve been missing so much! *Pastels are on trend this spring and I couldn’t be more happy about it!* During the days here it’s typically in the 70’s, but some nights it’ll dip down into the 50’s! Which I do enjoy still being able to wear layers and cute jackets!

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We had some cool family adventures this past Saturday, David had the day off, so he took us out to the El Paso Zoo! We honestly had such a fun time, the kids really loved seeing all the animals and they always enjoy just being outside, especially in this great weather! It was endearing seeing which animal the kids were most excited about- Nina really loved the Lion, and Mateo, his favorite was definitely the Tiger! Which couldn’t of worked out more perfect, because David bought Mateo a Tiger hat as we first walked into the zoo! It was so adorable watching their little faces light up!

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Before the Zoo we went to a cool brunch restaurant called Crave Kitchen & Bar. It had the reminisce of something that would be in downtown Chandler or Gilbert! Which are some of my favorite areas! David knows me so well, he found the restaurant online and surprised me…I think he knew I was getting a little tired of Denny’s. El Paso is not super up on trends like Arizona is, so the whole organic thing and hipster brunchy restaurants are rare and few here. For example, the only farmers market out here isn’t a farmers market at all, it’s a little art vender/kind of fare. Which is super cute and cool but there were no farmers, or produce offered, so I was confused why they would call it a farmers market… It’s actually been pretty funny discovering things that we think are normal and don’t really have to go out of our way to find in Arizona, is a little out of the norm in El Paso. Just the other day, David and I were massively craving an acai bowl, so we started driving around town like mad men trying to find a place that had one! I saw on Facebook that Costco was starting to carry them so off we went, plus we had some shopping to do so it was perfect, but when got there and we ask for an acai bowl, it was like we were speaking a foreign language. They had no idea what that was! It was a little comical but also a little embarrassing! So we kept driving around and somehow found a little hole in the wall smoothie place, to our surprise they offered acai bowls! YAY! It was so trivial but so funny! That just kind of gives an example of things were so used to in Arizona, that’s a little different out here!

 

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Crave kitchen & bar
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Crave Kitchen & Bar

 

Anyways aside from our fun little adventures in El Paso, I want to share my current skin care routine! I’m a very low maintenance girl when it comes to skin care. I’m going to contribute that to the two little ones that don’t give me much time for an extravagant routine. However, I don’t really feel the need to have 100 plus products, I enjoy finding ways to use ingredients just right out of my kitchen!

So when it comes to my skin type I’d say I’m normal to dry skin, more dry in winter and colder months. I like to use products that are all about adding moister back to the skin and also products for sensitive skin. I don’t really have sensitive skin but I rather use products that are on the mild and gentle side! *If you’re interested in the products I list I’ll have links attached to the name of the product*.

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For starters if I have make up on I like to use Coconut Oil as my makeup remover! I use an empty jar that I’ve cleaned out to keep in the bathroom, making it much easier to use when I need it! To use, I scoop some in my hands to warm up, then rub all over my face and do my eyes last. Then with a damp wash cloth I’ll wipe all the makeup off, and for my eyes I’ll use cotton pads / Q-Tips. It is magic at taking everything off, but leaves the skin feeling very soft and moisturized. Once in awhile I’ll use Ponds Cold Cream, typically if I don’t have my coconut oil on hand, but it works the same, maybe not quite as moisturizing. A side note, I use Lipsence on occasion, which is a liquid lipstick that literally does not come off, only with a glycerin based cleanser (which is the bar soap in the photo) I don’t like using this soap on my whole face often because its pretty drying, so I melted it down and put it into my old EOS lip balm container for easier use. All I do is get the tip of the EOS damp, rub on my lips like a balm then wipe off with a wash cloth!

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After I remove the makeup, I obviously cleanse! I keep two cleansers on me at all times, one for the shower and one to keep on my bathroom counter. Writing that just now makes me realize how extra that is…but that’s just the level of my laziness I guess! HAHA! So my favorite go to cleanser is the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel. (Also The Cucumber Cleansing Lotion is a top fav!) I also really like CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, I recently ran out of that so I picked up Jason Gentle Basics Facial Cleanser at Sprouts (it had CeraVe vibes so I’m giving it a try), so far I really like it and it is pretty similar to CeraVe but I’d say it’s a little more creamy and thick which I actually like. It feels pretty luxurious! I keep Mario on my counter and Jason in my shower… yes I have so many men on disposal 😉 HAHA! Back to the point, those are great for dry and sensitive skin! Another cleanser that I currently do not own but is on my wish list (its the cleanser my mom uses and I’m obsessed!). The OLEHENRIKSEN all skin types/anti-aging African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser. (I’ve discovered while trying to find it, that it now goes by the name: The Clean Truth Foaming Cleanser). Typically I’m not a huge fan of foaming cleansers because they tend to be drying but this one left my skin so incredibly soft but feeling so clean! I need it in my life!!

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For dry skin, exfoliating often is a must. So I like to have multiple exfoliating products to rotate. The St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub is a staple, I keep that in the shower and use it pretty much every time after I cleanse. It’s a great product to have but it’s actually not my favorite! My favorite is the DR. BRANDT Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant, I only have a sample size and it’s pretty much gone now so I need to pick up a full size. Let me just tell you, this stuff, girl, it is amazing. It has very small micro crystals that work beautiful wonders on my face! I’m also kind of obsessed with all things peppermint (literally- peppermint essential oil, peppermint tea every night, peppermint body wash…okay you get the point) which is what it smells like. It leaves my skin feeling so soft, so fresh and so clean, I need more! Another good one is the Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Peeling Gel Exfoliant. This product is really nice, when you start massaging it into the skin it starts to pill and lift dead skin, it’s actually kind of fun. You can also let this sit on your face as a mask for 5 to 10 minutes and wipe away with a damp wash cloth. I like this product as an everyday exfoliator because its gentle but does the job.

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Now while were on the topic of masks, I have quite a few that I like and use often, but I don’t think I have an all time favorite. Mainly because I like to use so many different masks and I’m constantly trying new ones. Also I use different ones that will cater to what my skin is needing at that time! I REALLY love doing DIY masks, just using whatever I have in my kitchen! I have a book full of recipes but also Pinterest and YouTube are full of great recipe ideas! One mask I do want to talk about because its basically an at home chemical peel- the Apple Cider Vinegar and Bentonite clay. Mix the two together till you create a paste, apply evenly to face and let dry. Now, when I do this mask, I have to do it right before a shower because it starts to burn pretty intensely so I jump in the shower and wash it off when I can’t take the heat anymore! I know that probably sounds scary but it makes my skin look and feel so amazing for days after I use it! For a more mild reaction, mix the Bentonite clay with Witch Hazel and Tea Tree Essential Oil! It has a very similar reaction but not as intense as the Apple Cider Vinegar.

 

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Moving on to Toners, I don’t typically use a toner everyday, only when I’ve worn makeup or if I’m feeling oily (which is rare). I stick to basic Witch Hazel, like Bentonite clay, they can be used for a lot of different things, so its nice to keep a very versatile product on hand! I’ve also been trying AMOREPACIFIC MOISTURE BOUND Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System (wow what a name), this product is very nice on the skin. However, I probably won’t be purchasing a full size, I don’t gravitate towards it too much, also the smell is very strong and perfume-y, which I’m not a fan of. (To be honest, it smells like grandma perfume!) I typically would’ve stopped using it because of that, but it actually really does make my skin feel toned and moisturized, plus the smell dissipates pretty quickly, so its not too awful! One toner that I haven’t tried yet but I really want to get is the Mario Bedescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herb, and Rosewater! I’ve heard only good things about it!

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Now onto moisturizers! I have a love hate relationship with moisturizers… I love them but I’m still on the hunt for my perfect match. Unfortunately, I think I’m going to have to go high end for this product, I have a few in mind that I really want to try but being a stay at home mom I don’t get to throw money on luxury items too often! So the products I’m using now aren’t bad they just aren’t my perfect match if you get what I’m saying! I used to use Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil prior to moisturizer which worked wonders, but I just ran out so I NEED more! So for now, in the PM, I use Jason Gentle Basics Night Cream, now this cream is actually a really nice night cream! It feels very thick and creamy on the skin, almost like a sleeping mask, but I like that in a night cream. However for day time I want something that moisturizes but absorbs into the skin. The Mario Badescu Aloe Moisturizer SPF 15, is very nice, a tiny amount goes a long way, and bonus SPF is already in it! The Pond’s Dry Skin Cream I like to use as a daily moisturizer and to prep the skin before makeup, its pretty light but does the job.

As you can see I love skin care, but I also don’t really stick to a very stricken routine! I really want to start investing in my skin care though, such as adding in eye cream (I have such dark circles I should’ve started using one years ago) and anti-aging serums! There are few products that are on my wish list but I have yet to try! I love trying new products but get a little overwhelmed with all the options out there! Let me know if you have any products you swear by! Thanks for reading!

XOXO, Briannie

 

Babble Session – The Month of Love

February- the month of love has come and gone. Honestly it felt as though I blinked and it was over! Even though it is the shortest month, so much has been crammed into these 28 days. I’ve had an unusual amount of bad news and hardships but I dare say also some fun times, and a few memories that I’ll always cherish.

 

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I took this while driving to AZ, believe it was in New Mexico

 
At the beginning of the month, or more the end of January, David got news that his dad had been in a work related accident. Long story short, David needed to get to Arizona, and fast. So he hoped on the next plane to Phoenix, leaving the kids and I in El Paso. We didn’t know the severity of his fathers injuries so everything was unknown, unplanned and very scary. He stayed with his mom for about a week while his dad remained in the hospital. Then decided to ride a Greyhound back to come get us. Due to the kids having colds, we ended up staying in El Paso for the week, then drove back to Arizona that weekend. I stayed with my family because they have a spare room for us for when we come to visit. Also, I couldn’t take the kids to the hospital due to the major Flu outbreak going around. *David’s father had a major surgery but is home now and recovering.

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Nina & her Abuelo

 

The experience was very emotional, as well as eye opening. It’s terrifying, knowing that at any moment you could lose someone dear to you. Knowing that and experiencing it makes me never want to forget to say I love you to all my family and friends. To never take the people I love for granted, and remember to cherish time because time is so fleeting.

After the short weekend to check in, we drove back to El Paso and planned to come back at the end of the week. I planned to stay with my parents for the next week, so we could take both cars back to El Paso without having to drive separately. (Explanation if you’re confused: David would drive one car back by himself, come back the next weekend on a bus or catch a ride, and we would drive together in our other car that’s been in AZ this whole time)

Monday came, the day David was going to drive back to El Paso alone, but instead ended up in urgent care… Story time: We – as in David, the kids and I, were all running around his parents backyard. David was playing with an old ball, dunking it in his rusty basketball hoop. Mind you, this basketball hoop is in soft dirt. He was showing off and dunked a few times, surprisingly making it but then it went south. He jumped up to dunk but slipped, and went straight down to his back. I remember instantly thinking ‘oh crap he just broke something’! It was his ankle, it became so swollen and he was in quite a bit of pain, so we decided to go to urgent care. The urgent care trip was quick, they took an x-ray and discovered it was a sprain. Even though the Doctor advised to take a week off, he still decided to go back to work that week!

 

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His swollen ankle, minutes after incident…side note- this was the foot he had surgery on almost 1yr ago.

 

 

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My little Valentine! Took this while waiting for Daddy in Urgent Care.

So David left on Tuesday instead of Monday, he drove the Nissan back to El Paso while I stayed behind with the kids. That same night I had a little Galentines fiesta! Not really as fabulous as my Galentines party last year, and not really a party at all…but none the less, two of my close girl friends came over. I had the house pretty much to myself since both parents were working late. We ate heart shaped pizza and gorged on tons of yummy snacks! (I definitely did not eat healthy that week!) We toasted to being best girl friends forever with strawberry milk. Treated ourselves with ice cream and chocolate covered strawberries! It was fun being silly with them and having some much needed girl time. If it wasn’t a weekday, I would’ve made them sleep over! HAHA! (Anyone else miss having slumber parties?!) It was much needed fun. I love enjoying good food and even better friends.

 

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The next day was Valentine’s Day. I didn’t think it’d be a big deal that I wasn’t with David for the holiday, since I thought he wouldn’t really want to celebrate it anyways. We had been dealing with some issues in our relationship and were kind of at a stand still. Valentine’s Day came and I received a package that afternoon. David had pre-purchased a bundle of chocolate covered strawberries and beautiful flowers, then had them delivered to my parents house since he knew I’d be there. It was so very sweet and thoughtful. Even though we’d been going through a difficult period, so much so that we were contemplating going separate ways, I couldn’t help but feel special. I came to a realization of all I was letting go of. I didn’t want to give up on us. We’ve been together almost 5 years. We’ve been through some really hard, life changing things. We’ve grown up together, we’re still growing and I couldn’t just let those years go.

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*When David returned the following weekend, we spent almost a whole night talking about all our issues. Finally getting that much needed time to get everything out, confront and realign. We are not going to give up, we’re striving to keep growing together, keep learning, making mistakes and fixing them because when we get down to it; I love him & he loves me, life would be incomplete without the other.

My stay also consisted of lots of park trips which are always a good time!

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At the end of the week David caught a ride back to Mesa with a co-worker. All so we could drive our Toyota that had been at his parents house the whole time, back together! So now we have both our cars in El Paso and I am so incredibly grateful! It was a challenge, let me tell you! Only having one car, I’d basically be stuck in the house, for what felt like weeks sometimes! HAHA! Except to walk the dog of course. Our apartment complex has a dog park but not a playground, and everything around us is a little too far to just walk unfortunately or else I would have! I was going incredibly stir crazy, and stuck with TWO toddlers that were just crazy! I don’t know how I didn’t lose my sanity…at times I think I did? So, now that we have both cars here, I am in heaven! I’m so grateful and blessed! It’s been amazing! The kids agree! We live down the street from a beautiful park (too far to walk, but only a 2-3 min drive!) It’s a large size park with a water park/splash pad area attached, and also a library in the same lot! So the kids and I have been really enjoying that! I’m even more excited for the summer when we can actually use the water park! Being from Arizona it feels a little weird to say I’m excited for summer…HA! It’s still been pretty cold and very windy over here in El Paso! Hoping spring pops up soon!

 

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At a park in AZ, the week David came back.

 

 

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All in all, February has definitely been kind of crazy, unexpected, scary at times, and not very romantic. However, I can say it was very much a month full of love. From scary moments that remind us to never take your loved ones for granted and to always tell them you love them. To not giving up on a love and making promises of love continued.
Can’t wait to share what’s coming in the following month! Till then!

Xoxo, Briannie