Favorites Friday

My favorites this week may be a bit boring, but my week has been fairly boring. My city had a pretty intense (for us…it’s the south, we’re not prepared for ice and snow) winter storm come through and I’ve been literally iced in most of the week. Which coincidentally means I was in my pajamas most of the week, oops. However, I did have some nice moments that I would love to share, mostly of my daughters.

I hope that you all enjoy these posts, and if this is your first time visiting my blog, make sure to stick around and follow me if you want to!

IMG_4372

1. I suppose I can start off with what I received from Jeremy for Valentine’s Day. He picked me up some pretty flowers and my Melt Cosmetics Dark Matter stack was also a gift from him. He’s pretty swell, I may keep him around for a bit. The Pixi Dust was actually something I purchased on clearance! I love Pixi, so I’m excited to try those out and unlock their shimmery goodness.

IMG_4262

2. This is an older picture, but it still applies for this week since I was pretty much living in warm socks and jammies all week. That book is actually wonderful, and if you love magic and witches please read it! Those socks are also incredibly warm and so tall. I typically have trouble finding nice thigh high socks that work out for me since I do have thicker thighs (thanks, soccer). However, these stay up and were very affordable! Check out sockdreams.com 🙂

IMG_4440

IMG_4445

3. Ah, the Knoxville Icemaggedon 2015. I wish I could say all that pretty snow was powder, but it wasn’t. So, we ended up not playing in it. Maryna enjoyed herself though. She looked so natural and happy sitting in the cold wind. Must be nice to have a built in fur coat with a heater.

IMG_4476

IMG_4473

4. Can we just talk about how much older my 2 year old looks in these photos? We went out for a bit to get some fresh air since the roads cleared up, and I put a scarf on Harmony since it was bitterly cold. I didn’t expect it to take her from toddler to teenager in 3.5 seconds. And yes, she is left handed! We ended up going out for sushi and doing a bit of shopping and browsing around, and it was nice. Much needed fresh air.

IMG_4389

5. Piper was my cuddle and laundry buddy all week. She kept me warm and played with her toes while I tried to catch up on laundry. Is is just me, or do tiny humans have an obscene amount of laundry? I feel like no matter how much I wash, there’s always a mountain of laundry somewhere else that also needs to be washed. Phew.

What were some of your favorite things for the week?

Not a Beauty Post

I know that I mostly post about beauty and makeup, but it’s not my life. I love makeup, and it’s a passion and hobby for me, but my heart is with my kids. So, I wanted to take a few moments and talk about them since I haven’t done so on this blog since my post about Piper’s birth.

Harmony turned 2 back in June, and Piper is now 4 months old. This is said so often, but time passes so quickly when you’re watching little ones grow. Harmony is so loving and so compassionate towards animals and babies. It’s almost like watching the stories my mom told me about myself when I was her age. She’s so gentle, and yet not so much. Her laugh is so infectious and I haven’t heard a laugh that can fill a room as quickly as hers does since my granny was alive. I got chills typing that out, it’s very hard to explain. It’s a laugh that can fill and brighten any room, and can melt the ice off of the coldest of any heart.

Piper is also a dream. The happiest baby I have ever met, and I am not exaggerating. Harmony is happy, but when she was Piper’s age she was so wary around people (still is for the most part) and did not want to interact with many people outside of close family members. Piper want to smile and interact with everyone. Earlier today we went to my Nana’s and she let everyone just pass her around and talk to her. She soaked up all of the attention and giggled at everyone. Such a ham.

They’re both major love bugs, and I am lucky in that sense. I cherish these days of snuggling and being around them. When Piper is not snuggled up with me Harmony usually is. I could go on for days about them and how much I love and adore them, but I won’t. I just wanted to share some photos from today at the park. It was such a beautiful day, and I needed the time at the park with the girls and Jeremy. We’ve had a pretty rough couple of weeks, and it was refreshing to just let everything go for a few and just enjoy our daughters without worrying about the million other things we are currently worried about.

DSC00041

DSC00044

DSC00047

DSC00049

The oldest, Harmony. I loved her outfit today. It suits her personality well.

DSC00039

DSC00040

The youngest, Piper. I love the one where her mouth is open…doesn’t she look like she’s been caught off guard in the most adorable way possible?

Trendy Thursday: Purple

IMG_1856

Fall is a time of renewal for me, and also a time when I feel the most creative. So, I want to test out a new idea which is Trendy Thursday. A blog every Thursday dedicated to either a color or fashion trend, sometimes both. Please feel free to read this and let me know if you enjoy the post and this idea. Also, I need suggestions on what color or trend to do next.

Okay, I have been feeling this purple trend lately. The violet and lavender thing started in the spring and summer, and now that fall is rolling in I have seen more of the berry and vampy purples popping up in places and in new makeup lines. I love it! Purple used to be a color that intimidated me, but now that I have tried it out I like it. What I love about purple in general is that it is so flattering on all skin tones. I feel that everyone can pull purple clothing and lipstick off no problem.

IMG_1849
IMG_1841

On my lips is LA Girl’s glazed lip paint in “Seduce.” I love this color. I feel that it is the perfect berry shade for early fall. I have mentioned these lip paints in a prior post, and I still love them! The application can be a bit messy for the darker colors, but my Eco Tools lip brush helps me out with that. I paired this lipstick off with a matte neutral eye using my Too Faced Natural Eyes palette (review to come) and Red Cherry lashes in #605. Because I wanted more focus on my lips, I lightly contoured my cheeks with Nyx blush in Taupe and lightly dusted Nyx’s blush in Dusty Rose on my cheeks.

My purple cat cardigan is actually from Target, and it is from their fall 2014 line! I love this cardigan. I got it on sale for $14 a few weeks ago and it is form fitting and so so comfortable.

I also wanted to include in the post a few more swatches, including a swatch on the skin of the color I am wearing on my lips.

IMG_1851

Swatches going from bottom swatch to top (all of these are budget friendly):

Nyx soft matte lip cream in Transylvania- I absolutely adore this shade. It is a deep vampy matte purple, and it is so affordable. These lip creams also smell like vanilla cupcakes, so that’s a plus! I will say that the formula is a bit drying, so I typically put lip balm on beforehand and use a lip primer.

Nyx Devil’s Food Cake- I know, this is not really purple. It is a bit of a berry shade, and I wanted to include it because it will darken up lighter purple lipsticks if you’re wanting a glossy berry finish. I had bought so many of the butter glosses from Nyx before they sold out to Loreal. I really love them, and I am sad that I will not be repurchasing them after I use them all up. So, if you’re wondering why I am including Nyx in my posts again, that’s why. I’m currently trying to use up all of my lip products by them.

Nyx butter gloss in Raspberry Tart- if you’re wanting a kind of sheer purple to just test the waters, try this shade. Butter glosses go on very smooth in general, and though they are not long lasting, they do not feel sticky on the lips at all. They also have a very pleasant scent to them.

LA Girl’s glazed lip paint in Seduce- this was the color I am wearing in my photos this post. I love this color. The application is flawless as well as the color. I now have 8 of these lip paints and I plan on getting a few more. They are only about $4 each and now come in 18 different colors! Obsessed.

LA Girl’s glazed lip paint in Tempt- This is another berry color, but it’s super deep. I love this color. Due to the formula of the lip paints though, the application of this color can be messy and patchy. I’m not a huge fan of the applicators themselves of this product, so I typically put a little product on the back of my hand and apply it with a lip brush.

Just to add a bit of myself and my everyday life into the post, here’s a picture of me and both my daughters, Piper (3 months) and Harmony (2 years). This picture captures them both pretty well. Harmony is the light hearted goofy one and Piper seems to be the more serious child, though she’s still a very happy baby. We played outside for a bit today and enjoyed the nice weather. I can’t wait until the local corn mazes start to open up. What are some of your favorite family fall activities?

IMG_1848

all of these opinions are my own, and this is not a sponsored post.
Posts to come:
How to Save Money on Makeup
First Impression: BH Cosmetics Foundation and Wet n Wild Mascaras
Fall Elf Haul: 50% Sale
On Kids and Makeup
For more pictures of my kids and makeup: Instagram- @mommawolf__

If any of the above posts interest you, please subscribe to my blog! I am really hoping to have enough followers soon to have a giveaway on my instagram! Thank you for stopping by!

My Lessons as a First Time Mom

As many currently know, I am pregnant with my second child. I wanted to take a few minutes to express some of my own personal experiences from my first daughter to possibly pass on to someone that may need it.

1. Even if your baby is born in the middle of summer, buy long sleeves

Oh man, I wish I had listened to my mom on that one. I know how tempting it is to buy little sleeveless dresses and such, and that’s fine, but make sure to have some long sleeved onesies and blankets as well. Even though adults get hot in the summer, tiny newborn babies still get cold unless they are right up against your skin. I learned this the hard way the first time I tried to put Harmony in a cute sleeveless dress and she turned purple 5 minutes later. When my best friend had her daughter almost a year after mine I made sure to bring her a blanket and some long sleeved shirts to the hospital. She thanked me a few days later because she had also fell for all those cute sleeveless dresses and outfits.

2. Breastfeeding is worth it, but it’s not always easy

We’ve all read it in some book while pregnant. They make us think that breastfeeding is a magical event where a baby is born and immediately latches on perfectly. Then the heavens open up and light shines down on this beautiful act and milk flows from the mother’s breast like a waterfall. Wrong. Totally wrong. Breastfeeding is easy to some people, but it’s not easy for everyone. I was unlucky enough to be in a not so baby friendly hospital and Harmony was taken away from me for 4 hours after I delivered her. After that we battled latch problems, jaundice, weight loss, and a tongue tie. If I hadn’t been a part of a local breastfeeding support group or had Jeremy there to coach me (he was truly a wonderful and supportive partner) I probably would’ve given up. It’s hard enough to deal with the weird hormone fluctuations after birth, and if you add nursing problems on top of it it can all make you feel pretty worthless and emotionally exhausted. However, if you’re able to team up with other iron breasted mommas and a good lactation consultant and make it work out, please do so. I promise you won’t regret it at all. Breastfeeding is such a wonderful and loving experience, and not to mention there are so many benefits to both momma and baby.

3. The weight will come off eventually

I hate that our media has let us think that all women are capable of looking normal again 6 weeks or less after giving birth. Some women drop weight so quickly, and that’s fine, but it’s not a standard we should all hold ourselves up to. I dropped weight quickly with Harmony, but I still didn’t look “normal.” I looked squishy, and well, like a new mom. I ate healthy and made sure to breastfeed on demand, and that’s what helped me out to look and feel normal again. Please don’t try to work out for 4 hours a couple of weeks after you give birth. I promise it’s not healthy. It took your body almost a year to create a life, give it some time to readjust on its own. That’s not to say that you should still eat ice cream every other night and load up on carbs at 1 am…

Give yourself some time. Being healthy emotionally is just as important as physically after having a baby.

4. Don’t be afraid to say something if you’re feeling down

I made that mistake. I’m someone that has always bottled up every feeling ever until I emotionally implode. It’s not something I’m proud of. Baby Blues are common after birth. I remember the day after Harmony was born my mom said something and I just cried and cried. She didn’t even say anything bad. Crying randomly is normal, and most will claim that feeling blue for 6 weeks or so after birth is normal, but if it goes on after that…talk to someone. Please. Talk to a doctor or a family member. The crying stopped for me, but then I started to feel very down most of the time. I blamed it on life, but looking back I know that I should have sought help. I was alone often at work and I caught myself putting myself down and calling myself a worthless mother. I thought I was a burden on everyone, including my daughter. It got to a point where I started to convince myself that everyone would be better off without me.  It’s still hard for me to talk about, but I hope that if anyone reads this and is feeling the same way they will talk to someone.

5. It’s okay to follow your own instincts

This is probably one of the hardest and most important lessons I have ever learned in motherhood. I’m the type of mother that listens to their instincts 98% of the time with newborns. This still confuses many people in the older generations because they were raised to believe babies cry to manipulate and should learn who’s boss as soon as their out of the womb. I’m not one of those parents. If Harmony cried, I picked her up. I breastfed on demand, even if that meant every hour, and we coslept with her. Those were my instincts. Harmony is almost 2 now, and despite what others tried to tell me, she is ridiculously independent and a great kid in general. She learned to walk despite all the baby wearing I did, and she’s not a tyrant that throws tantrums since I never allowed her to cry it out over anything. Does she act like a normal, emotional toddler at times? Yes. Listen to what your gut and heart tells you when it comes to your kid. I can’t emphasize that enough. If you don’t want to give your kid mashed potatoes at 3 months old, don’t. You don’t have to give into Aunt Betty that swears all of her kids were fine because they were gumming hard candy by 6 months old. Some of the information that still floats around is wrong (look up WHO facts about breastfeeding and baby led solids), and you have every right to not listen to it. You have every right to pick up your baby and cuddle them a million times a day. Don’t let people scare you into doing anything less than what you want. Chances are if something feels wrong, it is wrong. Our instincts as mothers are almost flawless, and that’s something I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for.

 

I end this post on the note that these are my personal experiences and lessons. I have friends of all types that have many different parenting styles. I don’t want anyone to read this and think that I am saying I am a parenting guru. I’m still learning and growing as a mother everyday. My instincts as a mother are probably different than other mothers, and that’s fine. I will say that every mother should always research things as much as possible, and give yourself room to say, “I’ll know better next time.”

I’m Clear!

Today was my anatomy ultrasound and high risk consultation with UT hospital (Lisa Ross sent me there).

Needless to say, I was nervous. So nervous that I shot my own heart rate up. I guess they are used to that because they didn’t seem too concerned.

I almost forgot how long anatomy ultrasounds are, but I love them. I got to see all 10 of Baby Morgan’s fingers. I didn’t get to see toes since we don’t want to know the gender yet (my parents are surprising us) but I was told they are all there :). They checked to see how much oxygen is getting to baby, and she said it was great. It starts to feel so real once you finally hear the heartbeat and start feeling the baby move, but there’s just something so different about  ultrasounds. I can put a face to the little human that’s been squirming and kicking like CRAZY. Seriously. Harmony did not dance around as much as this baby does. Even the ultrasound tech looked at me and said, “Wow, this baby does nothing but move.”

I had a couple of “awwww” moments as well as teary eyed moments (thanks, hormones). Little one kept opening his/her mouth and yawning. Once when Harmony cried (she loathed the entire experience) the baby balled his/her hand up in a fist. I guess that should be my sign as to how their sibling relationship will be in the future. Totally kidding…kinda.

After that, the obstetrician came in to tell us how everything looked. When I scheduled this appointment through Lisa Ross, they made it seem like the consultation alone would last hours. The doctor walked into the room and said, “Everything looks great.” He then went on to ask about how I was feeling and such…and that was it. That’s not the best part. I don’t have to see a high risk obstetrician again unless Lisa Ross recommends that I should. When he said that I wanted to scream with happiness. As far as I am concerned, I will be having the birth of my dreams at Lisa Ross this time. I will not have a doctor decide the birthday of this baby. I am in my positive zone until further notice.

I’m so ready to meet this baby already. June 30 (or close to it) can’t get here any faster. I compared ultrasounds from this baby and Harmony when I was 20 weeks with her and I already notice a few differences. I think their nose is the same (my nose) but this baby has a huge head compared to Harmony’s as well as eyes. My mom sent me a text to tell me exactly what I was thinking…this baby has my giant head and huge eyes. There is a part of me that hopes we are right. Harmony looks just like Jeremy, it would be nice to have at least one kid look like me 😉

I have also scheduled a birth photographer this time. I didn’t with Harmony because I didn’t think I would want pictures…and now I realize that I do want photos. I am going completely natural this time and I would love to have that story told in pictures. With Harmony, everything felt so rushed, and it kinda was. My mom was able to get a few pictures once Harmony was born, but other than that she was there as support, and that’s exactly what I needed her for. All in all, I am a huge ball of mushy love at the moment, and I apologize to anyone that I make queasy in the span of the next few months. Okay, I’m not very sorry at all.

Below are the ultrasounds. The top one is Baby #2 and the bottom one is Harmony’s at 20 weeks. This baby looks way bigger in general? I feel like my due date may be wrong, personally. I guess we will see. It could just be that Harmony was just a small baby and this one will be a big squish. I wouldn’t mind a big squishy baby, honestly. I’ve seen multiple people post about having 9 and 10 lb boys and I find them adorable. The weight of babies tends to scare women thanks to the misinformation doctors give to us, but I have faith in my own body. I know my body is capable of way more than obstetricians give me credit for.

 

Image

 

Opinions: based on that top profile alone…can you guess the gender? Jeremy and I won’t know until Saturday, but the suspense is killing me. I’m hoping this baby high I have from finally see his/her face will last until then.

 

No Love for Boys that Wear Glitter

Today, I had the absolute joy of stumbling upon a mom and a story about her 4 year old son, Chester. Chester lives a completely gender neutral lifestyle. Meaning, his parents allow him to wear jeans and tee shirts as well as dresses. He plays with what he wants, dolls or dinosaurs. As soon as I started reading this story, my heart felt so warm in this cold weather. His mom went on to talk about how his friends never say mean things to him (boys and girls) about his dresses, but you can probably guess the ones that always have negative things to say. That’s right, the parents. It’s sad to me that kids are born with the potential to love and accept, but some of them are eventually taught to hate and become intolerant because of their parents.

Gender roles are something that bother me now as a parent, especially since there is a 50% chance that our little womb monster is a boy (fingers crossed!). They bother me because no one says anything about the fact that our daughter, Harmony, loves trucks and heavy metal. No one has ever said a bad thing about her dirty converse and rockabilly shirts. However, I know if we have a boy and he takes on a love for dolls and glitter people will have negative things to say. He would face hateful parents and their words like “gay” and my absolute most hated word in the world…”faggot.” Typing that word actually makes my gag reflex react. It’s terrible that boys can’t love Cinderella and sports at the same time.

I’ve heard a million times that boys are easier to raise than girls, and now that I think about it boys have it pretty freakin’ tough.

I want to raise my children in a gender neutral environment. I want them to practice self expression. Whether it’s football, music, ballet, tap…I just want them to be happy. That should be the goal of any parent, right? When I found out I was pregnant with Harmony I told myself I would love my children, all of them, unconditionally no matter what. If this little bug is a boy and he wants to play with dolls and have a damn tea party, I will be his most enthusiastic guest. If he chooses dirt and football, I will always be there to clean him up.

In all honesty, what would I be teaching a son if I denied him dolls and dresses because they’re “for girls?” I would be teaching him that there is something wrong with girls. I would be teaching him that boys and girls are not equal in every single way. Worst of all, I would be denying him of something that could spark inspiration. I don’t deny Harmony the right to jeans and converse, and society would frown upon me if I did. So why does society still frown upon the boys that love glitter?

I do feel that society is becoming more accepting. There were definitely more encouraging words on this mom’s blog post than negative ones. However, I did see that so many people still have a long road ahead of them to get all of that negativity and judgement out of their hearts and systems.

It gave me a little hope that I am truly doing the right thing in regards to my parenting style. It may not be a popular style, but it’s one that I am going to fight for more people to look into. I have accepted that it may be too late for this country to see true acceptance in  my generation…but it’s not too late for our kids. It’s not too late to teach our kids to love and accept each other. They mimic us. They idolize us, and many of us are still teaching hate. We are still teaching each our kids that boys and girls are not equal, and that bugs me so much. It actually hurts me. It hurts me that in many ways we still view boys and girls as unequal, and we give them separate activities.

I will not accept it though. I will never accept it. I will only accept what makes my children happy.

My possible son will be equal with my daughter. I’m not going to deny him one damn thing simply because of some stupid gender role.

I don’t care if he’s covered in dirt and glitter as long as he’s cleaned up for dinner.

 

 

Your Tiny Hands

My daughter is over a year old now, and the love I have for her still overwhelms me every single day.

Those who say love at first sight doesn’t exist have never had a child. I wrote my daughter a letter when she turned one, and I feel like I should post it.

 

My Dearest Harmony,

It’s been a year since I first laid eyes on you. It doesn’t feel that way. It feels like I’m dreaming, and I’ll wake up in the morning and you’ll be the sleepy newborn you were a year ago. I’ll carry you around on my chest and sing to you and kiss your bald head as you slumber away for most of the day. I remember the sleepless nights, the tears I cried because we struggled so hard at at nursing. How did I not see myself in you every time you tried and tried again? You were so persistent. You were determined not to let a small obstacle get in the way of anything, and because of that you helped me push forward as well.

I remember awing over your tiny little hands and feet. I remember holding them in my own hands and just counting them over and over. Those tiny hands of yours have had a tight grip around my heart since the first time I heard your heartbeat. I’ve fallen in love with you all over again so many times. Sometimes I would catch myself watching you sleep and watching the morning rays hit your innocently chubby cheeks. I would think about how a new day for me meant something completely different to you. You were still seeing much of the world for the very first time, and I had the honor of showing it to you. I look forward to showing you more and more of the world as the years pass.

I used to interact with you so much when your home was still in my womb. I remember sitting at work in the wee hours of the night and listening to whatever came across my iPod at the time. You loved music. You would kick and move around as if you were dancing in your own little way. You still love music, and even a year later I know when you recognize a song because you stand so still as if you’re trying to remember something, but just can’t put your finger on it. I’ll always remember it clearly for you, even when your infant memories begin to pass into the shadows. Your infant days are coming to an end, and even though you will not remember them in a few years, they will still be vividly branded in my own mind and heart.

Now the little girl that stands before me is a wandering little toddler. Your baby chunk is starting to slim down, you’re walking more and more as each day passes. You’re slowly starting to trust people. You used to cry when someone tried to talk to you, but now you’re starting to see that they’re just trying to make you smile. I’ve never met a person who doesn’t love you. I know that every time I see the little dimples in your cheeks my heart stops, so I can only imagine what effect it has on total strangers.

You have a smile that could make the darkest human being feel a little love. That smile has brought me out of some of my own darkest moments. That smile is going to change the world one day.

Sometimes I try to imagine what my life would be like if you weren’t here, and I can’t. I can’t imagine a life without you. My life would mean nothing without you. You are my life, and my life began at the very moment I saw you.

You’ve changed me as a whole, and for that I can never show my gratitude. The only thing I can do is dedicate my life to you.

I know I may not always be the best mother. I know that sometimes I may seem distant, and that’s an ongoing battle that I am continuously working on. Please know that I love you. Please know that I love you more than my own life. I value you over myself, tiny hands and all. You’re my best friend, and sometimes I can’t understand how someone as perfect as you can love someone as flawed as myself. Your love and sweet cuddles flatter me in the best way possible. I love every single bit of you unconditionally, from your little giggle to your tiny hands.

This has been the best year of my entire life, and I know that it will only get better from here.

 

Love,

Your Mother