Another Baby!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

We are pregnant again!  Due right around Christmas time.  By next Christmas, I'll have a wiggly little brand-newborn.  We are excited and grateful!

I can't write about this pregnancy without reflecting upon our last one, the one that ended too soon.  In fact, I had those little chicken hats custom made a long time ago in anticipation of announcing the pregnancy that I lost (the etsy seller must have thought I was crazy for requesting a chicken hat for an egg!).  I kept those little hats bundled up in the closet, just praying we'd have a chance to use them. Finally, at 13 weeks, I felt brave enough to announce the good news.

I have been really paranoid with this pregnancy, but have tried to play it cool.  I've tried not to worry unless there is a specific fact-based reason to be worried (so far, nothing concrete to worry about!)  I remember telling myself if I got pregnant again, I would be hyper-vigilant and get an ultra-sound very early on.  Well, my midwife doesn't recommend ultra-sounds in early pregnancy and advised against it.  It was hard, but I agreed.  Instead, we relied on blood tests to reassure me that things were going ok.  Finally, at 12 weeks, the midwife felt my belly, pushed in a certain spot and it felt really tender right there. She put the doppler right on that spot, and a perfect heartbeat clicked away.  "That tender spot is where your baby is!" she gushed.  We were both super excited and relieved.  The day we heard the heartbeat was 6/10, which happened to be our lost pregnancy's due date.  Providential, no?

Sisi's reaction to a sibling was pretty neutral, at first.  I tried to hype it up, like "You can help feed the baby a bottle!  You'll have someone to read stories to! You can help bathe the baby!"  She didn't seem too impressed.

Then, about 8 hours later, out of the blue, she began sobbing and flailing.  She was inconsolable.  Then she blurted out, "I don't WANT to help!  I don't want to feed the baby!  I don't want a baby!"  Sure enough, she was grieving, and poured her grief out the way 3 1/2 year olds know how- in the form of a screaming tantrum.

I took her aside, held her close, and whispered, "You don't have to help with the baby if you don't want to.  The only thing I ask you to do is be gentle with the baby when it comes.  You will always be my baby. I understand why you are sad."  She quieted down, and then was in a terrific mood after that. The fact that I accepted her not-so-nice feelings and validated them was huge for her. Since then, she's resumed her neutral stance.  We shall see how she processes this in the months to come!


My Tiny Makeup Collection

Monday, June 16, 2014

If you thought my makeup collection was miniscule before, you'll be amazed now.

I've never been all that into makeup.  Makeup to me has always been more of a necessity than a perk.  I have friends with insane makeup collections who go nuts over the latest eye palettes and miracle mascaras.  I simply can't relate to their obsession, nor can I afford it.

I guess I embrace the French "no makeup look."  A swipe of powder, a smidge of blush, curl eyelashes, apply 1 coat of mascara and run out the door.  I don't like to look too made up, like I spent hours on my face and hair. I'd rather be the "girl next door" than the "glamour girl."  I'm also kind of lazy and I'm not a morning person, which is probably a big part of it.

So that made decluttering my makeup collection super easy.  I was already down to a small makeup bag of essentials, like a few dior eyeshadow quads, a couple eyeliners, mascara, blush, and powder foundation.  But lately, I've been wanting to pare down EVEN MORE.  I decided I'd toss everything and try to find more natural/hypoallergenic versions of the products I love. Things I can wear everyday.  It's nice (some might say boring) to have a simple makeup routine that I can practically do in my sleep, that involves no major decisions in the morning.

Here's what I now own and use daily:

  • Face:  

  1. Foundation: Erzulie Cream to Powder foundation in Medium Light (on etsy).  It took me a week or two to figure out if I really like this foundation.  My verdict is YES.  While it takes a little time to apply just right without streaking (compared to my old favorite, Laura Gellar powder foundation) it is super light, soft, and does cover well without caking.  And it's so natural you can practically eat it for breakfast. It's also affordable, so I can buy a new one each season when my skin tone changes a bit. 
  2. Bronzer/blush combo:  Mineral Fusion "Blonzer".  Easy to apply, and impossible to over-apply.  I, like everyone, loved Nars blush, but found it was so pigmented that I often over-did it.  This blush is soft and natural looking.  
  3. Primer:  Ok, so I normally don't use primer, but this came to me as a free sample from 100% Pure Cosmetics (full size!!!), and I instantly fell in love.  It is made of totally pure ingredients, and it makes my foundation that much easier to apply.  It reminds me of Dr. Feelgood from Benefit, but without the chemical crap.
  • Lips:  
  1. Lipstick:  100% Pure Lip Glaze in Rosehip.  Smooth as butter, pretty long lasting for a natural product, and once again, so pure I could eat it.  
  2. Lipstick #2: 100% Pure Lip Creme Stick in Perfect Naked Mauve.  
  3. Lip Stain:  100% Pure Lip Stain in Cherry.  Once again, I don't normally wear lip stain, but this came to me as a FULL SIZE free sample and I adore it!  It's for days when I want a brighter, punchier color on my lips.  
  4. Chapstick:  Trader Joe's Lip Virtuoso.  
  • Eyes:  
  1. Mascara:  Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes.  So Tarte isn't totally natural, but it's the best I've found so far.  I am still on the lookout.  
  2. Eyeliner:  Mineral Fushion Eye Pencil in Touch.  I picked this one because it's the exact shade of bronze-brown that I like, but I can't say I'm totally smitten with this particular eyeliner.  I can't expect it to be as pigmented or long-lasting as a chemical eyeliner, so it'll do until I find that perfect one.  
  3. Eyeshadow:  100% Pure Dual Ended Cremestick in Cotton/Silk.  It's fabulous.  I've always loved chubby stick shadows.  These are soft and smooth to apply, and last pretty well.  
And that, my friends, is my entire makeup collection.  About 10 items.  Can you believe it?  I did save my old Naked eye palette, red lipstick, and black eyeliner to wear to weddings or very special occasions, but those are tucked far away in the closet.  

My final thoughts: 
  • Switching to natural cosmetics was just bound to happen.  I have been on the path for awhile, I just needed to commit to it. 
  • Some more free samples I haven't tried yet!  
  •  But natural products can be really weak and pricey and lackluster (plus the packaging is often so cheesy).  That's why I am so glad I found 100% Pure Cosmetics.  This post is not sponsored by 100% Pure Cosmetics, in case you are suspicious.  I found out about them in a magazine article about Shailene Woodley.  She's a natural hippie chick and totally raved about this company.  I love all 3 items I purchased from them, and adore all 5 free samples they sent, worth almost double what I ordered.  They have pretty packaging, everything smells light and natural, and I just can't stop raving.  
  • I love the fact that I am so picky about what I put on my face.  I find that magazine makeup ads and department store displays don't tempt me at all because I know none of the products are natural.  For you makeup fiends, going natural is one easy way to make sure you don't splurge on makeup.   You just won't be bombarded by temptation.  
  • Some of the items I bought are a little pricier than what I might normally buy, but that's the awesome thing about having a capsule collection.  I feel no pressure to buy a ton of trendy colors because my goal is just to look like a prettier version of myself.  Just like with my wardrobe, I can spend a little more on each item because I'm buying classics that I will wear for a long time.  
  • The hardest part about this process is throwing away all the old stuff.  Unlike clothes, I can't really donate or give away my old stuff.  It has to go to the landfill.  Just one more reason to be really picky about what I buy in the first place.  
Anyone have any natural products they love?  In particular, a mascara or black eyeliner???  Share below!