Beachfront Baby Carriers

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We went to Cali a few weekends ago with the family as our last hoorah before school started. It was incredible! But one thing that made our beach trip so great was this wrap. I wear my babies everywhere. One place that makes baby wearing difficult is the beach. Most wraps have so much fabric and it's just too hot to be skin to skin. Beachfront Baby has created wraps and ring slings specifically for this. The mesh fabric is light, airy and cool. You can take it in the water, on the beach or in the shower. SO GREAT!! Our first day at the beach, I put Mia in the wrap and with in 2 minutes she was fast asleep and slept for 2 hours! The cool breeze & the sound of the waves was incredible and so relaxing

 I chose the black ring sling because it's easier to throw on, light weight and adjustable. I also love ring slings because you can use them as the baby gets older and wear them on your hip for added support!  

Sweet sleeping baby loved the sling!  

Sweet sleeping baby loved the sling!  

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Check out more slings and get yours here....  

 http://www.beachfrontbabywraps.com/ 

World Breastfeesing Week | 5 Tips for Successful Breastfeeding

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This week we celebrate "world breastfeeding week". As a mommy of 3 littles, nursing is so very important to me. I follow the concept of "attachment parenting" and have had incredible success with it. For me, keeping my babies close to me is what feels natural. It's how it was always intended to be. I don't like to get caught up in all the "newest baby trends" or "coolest baby gear". I think the more simple we keep it, the easier it really is. So I have compiled 5 tips for new mamas to help you breastfeed successfully. 

 

1. Nurse right away. After the baby is born, place your baby on your chest and just have skin to skin contact for as long as possible. Baby doesn't need to be weight or measured yet. As long as your baby is in good health, keep your baby on you. When the baby is ready, he or she will do the breast crawl and find its way to your breast on their own. Think about it- do dogs need to teach their puppies how to nurse? No. They just are born wanting to eat. Babies are the same way. They want to nurse. 

 

2. Nurse on Demand - first of all, your baby knows when he or she is ready to nurse, when they need comfort, when they are hungry etc. They do not need to be (nor should they be) put on a nursing schedule. Don't look at the clock, don't stretch feelings, don't worry. Sometimes it's every 2-3 hours and sometimes it's every 20 minutes. And that's ok. They will not be consistent. It's normal. Their bodies go though stages of massive growth and stages of sleepiness. Just nurse on demand. Secondly, your milk supply is "DEMAND and SUPPLY". The more the baby demands, the more you will supply. The less he/she demands, the less you supply.  

 

3. Do not have bottles or formula in the house - this step is KEY. Nursing is hard. It's frustrating and it's sometimes painful. The first 6-8 weeks are challenging. But when you are exhausted and irritated and haven't showered, you will hand the baby to your husband and tell him to give the baby a bottle if you have them on hand. And this WILL negatively affect your milk supply. I promise. If you skip a feeding, that's one less feeding you will produce the next day. Causing the baby to be frustrated and a downward spiral to a formula fed baby. (Which by no means is a bad thing. But this post is about successfully Breastfeeding, not formula feeding.) 

 

4. Have a support system - it is SO important to have a support system of people who encourage you to nurse and push you through the exhaustion. If you don't have a circle of people who know much about nursing, go find a moms group. There are SO many out there and you will need support, encouragement and you will have hundreds of questions. But just remember, our bodies are meant to create life and sustain life. Trust Your body & eliminate stress as much as possible.  

 

5. Side nurse at night -(I am side nursing in the photo in this post)  I am all about anything to simplify this whole newborn phase. For us, that meant co sleeping. Which doesn't necessarily mean that we are sharing a bed, but that the baby is very near to us. So our nighttime routine looks like this -- bath, lotion, jammies, nurse baby to sleep and then gently place baby in their co sleeper or bassinet in mommy and daddy's room. Then go to sleep yourself! Once baby wakes up in the middle of the night, pull baby in bed with you and side nurse till you both fall back asleep. As the babies woke up in the night I just switched from side to side Until they fell back asleep. Consleeping is very controversial, but you have to do what is right for you and your baby. For us, that meant keeping baby close by so I could nurse on demand. (Safety note - obviously don't co sleep if you or your partner have been drinking or on any medication. You have to be conscious enough to know where your baby is). 

 

I will leave some links below to some great articles that expand on these concepts. A few other tips: Drink lots of water - I mean chug a glass or bottle of water every single time you sit down to nurse. Keep taking prenatals or supplements to give the baby and your body the most nutrition possible. And enjoy it. Because they won't nurse forever. And they won't always wake up in the night. Babies aren't meant to sleep all night. So cuddle them, love on them and keep nursing. It's the best thing ever. 

Lipstick Depotting 101

Today is National Lipstick Day so I thought it would be The perfect opportunity to share how I keep my make up kit organized and how I manage all 900,000 Colors of lipstick that I currently keep in my kit. OK maybe not 900,000 but I definitely have a lot.  

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When I first started out as a make up artist I thought that I needed every single color of everything. Foundation, lipstick, blush etc. but after doing make up for sometime I realize that being a minimalist cuts down my application time, keeps me organized and is a hell of a lot lighter to carry when I'm traveling to all ends of the earth to glam some ladies up. 

 

So instead of searching through a massive bag of lipsticks to try to read the bottom of the lipstick to see what color I am pulling out I decided to put all of my lipsticks in one or two cases. Simplify if you will.  

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I purchased this case that has 24 compartments and I literally took a small cake spatula that you would use to decorate a cake and cut the lipsticks into thirds and smash them into each compartment. (I did not have a photographer to take a step-by-step picture for this process so these will have to do) 

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I made a note on my iPhone in order with which color I placed in each compartment so that when I need to replenish a specific color I have it on my phone with me at the store.  

It it has made life so much easier when it comes to the organizational part of working and trying to find the colors I need quickly!

Find the cases here // http://www.vueset.com/?product=tahiti

 

 

 

 

 

To My Husband...Happy 3rd Anniversary

Year Three...And what a year it has been!

Our wedding "dinner" at the Vig Uptown

Our wedding "dinner" at the Vig Uptown

We didn't know the plans God had for us and our marriage. We didn't know what we were walking into and what the future held. But we knew that we needed to make a commitment to ourselves and to God, 3 years ago. As my husband said this morning... three Years, three homes and three babies, later. This year is special for us. We have walked through many challenges. But this year we brought our sweet Mia into the world and purchased our first home together. (Plus some additional special family moments including our other 2 babes).  Marriage is hard, friends. Anyone who is honest with themselves knows this. It takes work, compromise, sacrifice and it challenges your every day decisions. I have said it before and I will say it again, I am so thankful for my Husbands unconditional love and insane commitment to this family. I am a hard one to live with, and he does it with grace. 

Cheers to forever... 

Happy Anniversary, I love you, Babe! X

 

House Update // Vol 1.

Friends. Where do I even begin? Over on Instagram I've been sharing some sneak peeks of projects in the new house....if you have no idea what Im talking about, here's what has been happening the past few weeks! 

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June 24th we FINALLY signed & got keys on our house! This is our first home and it was super exciting for us! We got in the house around 330 pm. By 7:30 pm we had baseboards ripped out, carpet ripped out, flooring ripped out, etc. By the next morning all the cabinets were ripped off, backsplash was ripped off & tile was being removed. Yes...we are crazy. I mean, we definitely thought we were Chip & Jo walking around on "demo day" and planning our renovations. But we could not have done this with out our contractor, which I will share once he gives me permission :) 

Before we found this house (as we were house shopping) we quickly realized how ugly homes are in Phx....and by that I mean, track homes. Because thats all that was in our budget. (hello 3 kids $$$). They are SO boxy, plain and boring. Cheaply made and dude - there is not one straight wall. SOOOO messy and crooked. So we decided to find a house with a good lay out and that we would redo flooring and then esthetics around the house to update it and make it look a little more styled. So we knew going into it that we were going to put a little bit of money into the home. ESPECIALLY flooring. With a little baby crawling around everywhere, I wanted NEW clean flooring. 

So, we found our home, signed and then destroyed it. (insert crying emojis). Its been almost a month. And we totally underestimated the project. And I am not even going to include a before picture until the after pictures are done. Because the inside of this house was just that ugly. Literally, horrendous. 

But here is our project list so far....and I will share photos and tag where we purchased everything room by room :) 

  • Hardwood flooring in entire downstairs & all bathrooms
  • New Carpet through out bedrooms and loft upstairs 
  • New 6" baseboards & door trim in entire house 
  • Oak cabinets turned into White Cabinets via paint and some freaking hard work
  • Crown Moulding along the top of Kitchen Cabinets + New Trim 
  • Beadboard/wainscotting around the base of the cabinets & on the breakfast bar + Trim
  • White subway tile backsplash
  • New paint in entire inside of house (outside needs to done next). 
  • All new toilets  
  • New toilet, vanity, sink and light fixtures in the downstairs bathroom 
  • Replacing ugly lighting with recessed lighting in kitchen and by the front door 

SO, this list is long, but getting completed and its looking SO much better! Like a different house! I might need to get a full time job to complete the rest of the tasks around the house! haha! So expensive, but so worth it. 

On a serous note.....Before I started to think of the renovations & esthetics of our home, I began with the question "What do I want my house to accomplish?". That might sound crazy to some, but this is a huge investment financially and its so difficult not to get caught up in the materialistic side of things. So before we entered into this, I really wanted us to have the end in mind. For me? I want our house to be life giving. I want our home to be comforting to those who come, a warm, inviting place full of food and laughter. I desire a place for my children to feel comfortable in and a place where we can serve & share God with those who enter in. So, bottom line, I want a life giving home. With that said....we jumped into creating that atmosphere! And it has been INTERESTING! lol Cant wait to share more photos! 

 

Mom Style & Breastfeeding

Dress // The Tickled Pink Boutique | Jacket // Forever 21 

Dress // The Tickled Pink Boutique | Jacket // Forever 21 

Alright, let me just be honest for a minute. My daughter was born in October..thats 8 months ago. I am exclusively breastfeeding her, as I did my others. And guess what...I GAIN weight when I nurse. I don't lose weight, nor do I get all skinny. I gain weight in order to sustain my milk supply. I eat WAY more than I normally do. And it is honestly SO difficult to deal with. Postpartum already throws far too many hormones at you...you have no control over your body and you have an infant attached to you non stop. (I practice attachment parenting & "the second nine months", so when I say attached, I literally mean attached. The babe goes everywhere with me for at least the first 9 months, if not longer. More info on that here.)

Gaining 20 pounds on a smaller frame, is a lot. It feels like crap and doesn't look as cute either. I literally feel guilty every single time I eat. Why, you say? Maybe its because I am eating twice what I normally do. And maybe its because I have hormones raging around my body like a freakin monster. And maybe I am choosing not to work out like a meat head...for good reason. 1. I like to sit on the toilet and not cry because it was leg day. 2. I like to hold my kids without fear of dropping them because it was arm day. and finally reason 3. I don't get uninterrupted sleep right now...So I am tired. But its a season. (I say that a lot, I guess. But life is full of seasons and they are always changing).  And I know its temporary. I fully put my infant (and other children) before myself, because she is helpless and fully dependent on me. And because I know that one day, very soon, she will no longer need me to nurse, and she will no longer be interested in sleeping on my chest or letting me spoon her in bed. So I am chubby, I feel like crap half of the time, I struggle with super depressing thoughts but ultimately I have to press into God, remember its a short season, and get some loose fitting clothes to hide my chubby ass. 

Heres the deal. We just birthed another human. We created life. We spent 10 months growing this thing...its going to take longer than a few weeks to get our bodies back..or in my case - maybe a year lol. BUT, I am so thankful for the ladies at The Tickled Pink Boutique for making mom shopping so easy and fitting me with clothes that I totally feel comfortable in. 

So Cheers to online shopping. Put those kids to bed, or hide in the bathroom and buy something you feel good in. Its the small wins in motherhood. 

PS they have this dress coming in new colors!! Black right now! Use code "Jbravo" for 15% off at check out! 

End of the Year Gifts for Teachers

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Every year we love to gift our teachers with something special. We want them to know how truly special they are and what a gift they have been to us for the past year. One year we did a glam bag packed with some of my favorite make up products. Last year we did a summer basket filled with treats from World Market, a cute tumbler for summertime drinks and lots of chocolate. This year, we decided that we wanted to support a local company that we love so much. (I LOVE buying things from shops that directly support PEOPLE, students & fellow mamas!)The Shine Project came out with the most adorable apple necklace, perfect for teachers. The company employs at risk, inner city kids and helps them go on to further their education. How appropriate, right?? I feel like this gift comes full circle..... Read more about The Shine Project here. 

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And a very special thanks to ALL the teachers out there. You guys are superheros and I could NEVER do your job! lol

And a special thanks to Ashley, at The Shine Project for being so brave and selfless! You are making such a difference! 

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Kitchen Essentials | The Pampered Chef

Who grew up with their mama's using these tools?? <both hands raised> But The Pampered Chef tools seriously are the most durable and BEST tools. They last FOREVER! These are my favorite tools that I have around my kitchen....and a few of the items I don't yet have, but are definitely on my wish list! What items are your favorite from Pampered Chef? 

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Simplify your make up routine...

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Keep it simple my friends....

One common misconception of being a make up artist, is people think that I am done up all the time. There is a very big difference between "Instagram make up" and "real life" make up. And seriously, stop comparing your face to these Instagram make up artists. The most common question I get is, how long does it take you to do your make up in the morning? My answer is always, 5-10 minutes. Unless I am getting ready for a photoshoot, I just do not spend any more time on my face. My time is more valuable in other places in my life. My children, my house, reading my bible, working etc. Not obsessing over what I look like. BUT, Its all about balance. Investing in your self, your appearance and how you feel is all very important. (Which I will get into more soon, another post, another day). If you sit in jammies all day with no make up, you will be less productive as if you woke up, took 5 minutes to do your face, spent another 5 minutes to put normal clothes on before you started taking care of the kids/house etc. 

So don't get over whelmed, keep it simple and keep it clean. Pictured above is my normal daily "running around" make up routine products. Simple, minimal, and it only takes me a few minutes. While I am not wild about the IT Cosmetics Illuminating CC cream, I do love the color. The pigment isn't too strong, but it has a good coverage. What I don't like about it, is it looks like I have glitter on my face in the sun. I am not down for that. So I will try their basic CC cream next time. Hoola is always a must have along with my "Love Joy" Blush from MAC. Elf brow kit is super easy and quick with an angled brush, waterproof mascara from Maybelline, and just a quick nude lipgloss. Actually, my favorite lipgloss right now is MAC's Deelight. It's GORGEOUS! Hope this helps! Email me or comment with your make up questions! 

Secrets of the Trade | Fake Lash Application

"How the heck do I put lashes on myself?", "How do I not get glue all over my face?", "How to I custom fit lashes?", "How do I not look like a crazy person with these bad boys on?"

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So many questions surrounding lashes, which ones to buy and how to apply them. I am finally sharing, friends. My favorite lashes are the Demi Wispies by Ardell & the BEST lash glue is Duo's dark-tone. I just haven't found any other adhesive that works as good! Now onto the application process! Hopefully I can do a video soon! 

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**Not Pictured** (Before you start - place a drop of glue on top of the plastic holder. You want your glue to dry a little bit and get tacky so that by the time you have trimmed your lashes, your dry is ready to go) 

Step 1: Pull off the lash from one side, gently. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Step 2: Clip the lash into 3 pieces/chunks. 

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Step 3: Place the trimmed piece back on the lash holder. *Keep them in order*

 

 

 

 

 

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Step 4: Repeat until both sides are trimmed into 3 pieces. 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you have trimmed both sides, dip the edge into the tacky glue and then place in order from the outside of the eye to the inside of the eye (AFTER you have done all of your make up including eyeliner but not mascara).  Make sure that each piece touches each other so that you have a seamless affect along the eye. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And thats it! Simple enough, but just trimming the lash into 3 pieces allows you more control over placement and secures each piece better than one whole strip! Any questions? Comment below! 

House Hunting // Kitchen Edition

My husband and I are FINALLY house hunting. It seemed like this day would never come. We are thrilled, but slightly worried because the decor options are freaking endless. And I am fully aware that I am setting myself up for a decent amount of work, kitchen wise. But we spend the majority of our time in the kitchen.....We are foodies, what can I say? 

Finding a house to fit a family of 5, with the space we need but the character we want has been challenging. My daughter doesn't want to switch schools, but we just aren't in love with the area we live in now. 

So as we pray for the right house for our family, I will continue living on Pinterest and dreaming of beautiful kitchens.....and watching HGTV non stop. 

Here is my vibe for the kitchen {remodel}, friends... Lets see if we can make this smash together. Any house decorating/house hunting/house flipping professionals wanna come hang with me for a few months? Anyway, here is the look I am going for.... 

All images from Pinterest ...obviously.