Category: Product Reviews

Friday Five – Snow, Atkins, & More

TWO posts from me in a day? I hope that makes up for the radio silence. It’s Friday, I am SO over this week, so I am linking up with Joy for Friday Five. Instead of a theme, I’m going to go rogue.

 

{Snow} Ugh. I am not a fan of extremes and snow is on one end of the spectrum. I don’t mind it when I can snuggle up under a blanket and watch movies all day. BUT – when you work from home as long as you have electricity, you have to work. I was surprised at how out of sorts it felt working and having S. home and my coworker’s kids home and everyone just all off schedule. I hope next week is somewhat normal.

{Blacklist} I am usually late to the TV show party but my parent’s suggested the Blacklist. S. just finished binge watching Breaking Bad so we needed something to watch. So far, I am hooked! I am more interested in how everyone is connected – they are doing a great job dropping small hints that send me to Google to see what everyone else is thinking and theorizing.

{Atkins} Meeeeeeat. So S. and I are 3 weeks into the Atkins Diet and he looks amazing after losing about 15 pounds. I, on the other hand, a, dropping weight much slower, but I’m okay with that. I’m down about 8 pounds as of a few days ago. Maybe next week I will share my inspiration picture. I am literally making a pizza right now where the crust is sausage. SAUSAGE.

{Boba Video} I am sure all my momma friends have seen this video from Boba. Grab a tissue. It’s a good one!

{Crawling} Almost 8 months old and military crawling for weeks (painful, frustrating weeks for Momma and Daddy), Mike FINALLY crawled. And is pulling up. Why take milestones slow?

Five For Friday

It’s Friday! I am linking up with Joy over at Sowell Life for my Friday Five. I was cleaning out my bathroom this week and had to decide what products stay and which were donated (to other product whores). Here are my top 5 beauty products I couldn’t part with.

beauty

1. {Rimmel London – ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara} You might remember, I reviewed this mascara a few weeks ago and it continues to be my favorite. It’s long lasting, stays in place AND it makes my lashes look pretty thick for a drug store mascara.

2. {E.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen When it comes to makeup I try to at least wear mascara and eyeliner, so I am always looking for new products. I picked this eyeliner up at Target for a whole $1 and I have not been disappointed. It is easy to apply and stayed put, plus it’s so damn cheap I can buy 5 and keep them stashed around the house, purse, work, etc. Since the tip is flat, you can go with a thick or thin line, but beware – it’s a hard tip, so use a gentle touch.

3. {Blissoma Solutions Peace Evening Facial Creme When HeadOn discontinued their headache stick, S. and I were panicking. We picked a few similar products from Amazon and I discovered Blissoma. The headache stick worked wonders and they always send us a sample of their Peace Evening Facial Creme which I am in love with. It’s a bit on the pricey side, so I use the samples sparingly on my sensitive Rosecea prone face. It smells amazing, is light and all natural.

4. {Aveeno Active Naturals BodyI can’t let go of a good body scrub, especially in the winter when I have icky skin. Aveeno is the recent scrub of choice but trust me, I have about 4 half used bottles of other scrubs. Aveeno is a great price, great smell and a gentle scrub.

5. {Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Multipurpose Ointment I think this is the magic potion that solves everything. I got this as a baby shower gift and realized it was an alternative to Vaseline (which I loathe). I used it a few times on Mike and I really like the smell. Plus a little goes a long way! Now I use it on my chapped winter nose, dry lips and scaly skin.

There you have it – my top 5 beauty products. What products can you not live without?

Five for Friday

Today I’m going to link up with ChristinaDarciApril, and Natasha for 5 on Friday to fill you in on my …

2014 resolutions

{Health} I’ve always been the big girl who struggled with food and such, and every year I make the same goal to get healthy. Now with a kiddo I am feeling more motivated than ever. I am dragging S. with me (but it is a bit of the other way around) and we are doing Atkins. I did it in high school (2000) to fit into a prom dress. It worked like a charm and now I am more focused and seeing how this lifestyle can work for us in the long run. Sugar is my drug, that’s been hard to break. I am not going to turn this blog into a weight loss journal, but don’t be surprised if I share my small victories.

{Focus} Speaking of focus, I have a pretty full plate and it wasn’t until recently I was really feeling pulled in different directions – work, kiddo, husband, etc, etc. So this year I am vowing to stop being my own worse enemy and focus on what I am doing when I am doing it. When Mike needs my attention during the day, work will stop. No more carrying to the laptop into the room while I am trying to put him down for a nap. I’m not curing cancer, work can wait 15 minutes. And when I am working (especially on days when Mike is at daycare) I am there. Personal email is closed, Facebook is not pinging with updates … this is a real challenge, but it’s time.

{Professional Comfort Zone} I’ve had more than one boss and coworker tell me over the years that I lack confidence in my professional abilities and I need to just trust my gut on things. I tend to put off tasks I am not sure about and  make me uncomfortable (calling people? Ugh!) as well as down playing my skill set. I need to work on that this year by drawing the line in the sand and promptly jumping over it.

{Blog Twice a Week} That should be easy enough, right?

{Learn a New Technology Skill} I work in the tech industry on the business development side and it’s an industry I am pretty clueless on (wait, and I downplaying my skill set?). I would love to do some research, take a class or read a book that will help me grow my technology experience. Any suggestions on which way to go? There seems to be so many options!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Friday 5 – My First Link Up!

I’m linking up with Joy over at the Sowell Life for Friday Five, my first link-up! It seems like a fun way for bloggers to get to know each other and for me to have a bit of a writing prompt since I have had some creative writing blocks when it comes to writing about mommahood.

 

For this week’s 5, here are 5 things I didn’t expect when it came to becoming a mother:

1. I thought I was going to be the kind of mother who could run errands with my baby and just bring a diaper, wipe and bottle. In reality, I am carrying an overflowing diaper bag with 2 changes of clothes, a book, my carrier, 3 pacifiers, etc, etc, etc. I get it. I’m ‘That Mom’.

2. I thought it would be hard to give my baby to someone else to hold and snuggle. I know this time is so short and I thought I would be selfish and want to keep it to myself as long as possible. Well friends, after a few hours of snuggle time (while multitasking life) I would hand him to the janitor at the Dairy Queen across the street. First of all, I need a break. Second of all, he is my pride and joy (cliche, but true) so seeing him with other people and their reaction to him [more like noticing how amazingly perfect he is] makes me happy.

3. I knew being a momma would be life changing, but not like this. Life has gotten hectic and my head has gotten muddy, but damn if this isn’t what I am suppose to be doing right now. Everything seems to have fallen into place and fits perfectly.

4. It’s not as bad/hard/exhausting as people said when I was pregnant. Yes, there are sleepless nights. Yes, sometimes the crying is a bit much, but it just wasn’t that difficult for me. Perhaps we have a good kid, or perhaps people giving ‘advice’ and sharing ‘war stories’ is God’s way of setting expectations.

5. Being a momma automatically puts you in a club with instant friends.  I have a lot of Facebook friends (I worked for a global association for a long time, so a lot of my ‘friends’ are actually members) and many seem to be coming out of the woodwork by commenting or liking my status. It’s like they are seeing me in a new light – just like I am seeing myself in a new light. If I knew having a baby would expand my circle, I would have had him a lot sooner!

There you have it – my first link-up!

Influenster Rose VoxBox Review

It’s time for a Influenster VoxBox review! I always love getting these boxes and playing around with all the products. This time around it is the Rose VoxBox. I was pretty happy with my goodies, here’s what I thought. Oh, and don’t forget. Influenster provided the products for free, but the thoughts are my own.
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Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara
I am always on the look out for mascara. It tends to be the only product I wear on the regular besides moisturizer. I like long, thick lashes like every girl and this actually worked! I felt like my lashes were more prominent and made my eyes pop. I might make this my go-to mascara!

Kiss® Gradation Polishes
Fancy nails seem to be all the rage these days and I am so hard on my nails I rarely get manicures. And when I do it’s nude polish to prolong it’s life. This product made fancy nails stupid simple. I wasn’t a fan of the color, but when I posted it on Facebook and Instagram, my followers were fans (follow me!).

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I’m not really a fan of ‘biscuits’, I prefer a protein packed breakfast or a doughnut. But I’ve picked these up before for S. and he’s been a fan. I do like these for a filling snack. I will usually grab one on the way to work and it keeps me going. It’s not on my weekly ‘staples’ list, but when it’s on sale, I always grab a box.
Dr. Scholl’s® For Her Cozy Cushions
My name is Jackie and my feet are funky. Cute, but funky. They are cute, but chubby, so finding shoes sucks and there is rarely a need for me to use insoles, so these are sitting in my sock drawer. I do pull them out every so often and wish I could use them. They are so soft, a lot like the inside of Ugg boots, which I can’t wear either.
I’ve never had a Lindt truffle before! Just kidding. I’ve had a ton because they are SO good! So. Good. I love how creamy and smooth they are. I don’t even have to review these because no one reading this blog thinks they are gross. I can almost guarantee that.
There you go! Have you tried these products? What do you think?

Small Business Saturday Deal

Quite a few of my friends have been asking about my super cute teething necklaces for Mommas. WELL … I just noticed the small business I order them from is having a sale tomorrow on Small Business Saturday! Chunky Potatoes gets 4 thumbs up – 2 big ones and 2 little ones.

They have been a huge lifesaver for Mike and me. He loves to snuggle up and chew it and I get to keep him from chewing on my hand and know everything was lovingly, safely handmade. Plus, they are so pretty, I don’t mind wearing them out in public!  I highly recommend them. You can find them on Etsy.

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** I was not compensated for this post, just a fan who wants to share the love

What’s In My Bag?

The number of times I get asked daily what I carry in Mike’s diaper bag is astounding. Just kidding. No one asks. But I’m a huge US Weekly fan (judge not lest ye be judged folks) and have always enjoyed their ‘What’s In My Bag‘ series. I thought it would be fun to give you some insight into what I carry in Mike’s diaper bag. I promise, there is not one product in there that will break the bank.

What's In My Bag?

If you know me at all, I am not a huge fan of ‘baby’ stuff, like diaper bags that look like diaper bags. My Aunt hooked me up at my shower with The Cindy Tote from Thirty One. I love it because it is soft sided and I can use it again (you know – like when I don’t need a diaper bag. That time’s coming right?).

I also have a Thirty One wristlet that I think is discontinued. But it’s the right idea! A bigger wallet I can just grab out of the bag and put into a purse when I am baby free.

You always have to have a blanket/burp cloth/swaddle/rag. Always. I am a huge fan of the aden + anais line. The are huge swaddles, so perfect to cover a carseat, wrap a baby or wipe up a dribble. Plus they are pretty and Kate Middleton loves them.

My Baby K’Tan goes everywhere with me. Mike is getting heavy and lugging his car seat into the grocery store is just a pain in the neck. Plus I am never sure where a meltdown will occur, and the wrap keeps him calm. Where have I worn my baby? Walmart, Harris Teeter, home, office, winery (uh, huh), street festivals … it goes on and on.

Enfamil checks/coupons never leave my bag or purse. I have found Mike’s formula on deep discount at a few places and paired the store discount with a check and pay like $2 for a thing of formula. Score.

Thankfully Mike is still at the age where a crumpled napkin provides half an hour of entertainment. But I still like to carry a Wubba Nubba and a little toy. Even a book is good. Each page is 10 minutes of excitement!

There you have it! What’s your non-traditional must have for your diaper bag?

A Little Help From Our Friends

How are you liking my new WordPress site? Well, I am loving it and I have to give credit where credit is due. My friend and old coworker, Ashley, helped me find a solid solution to my frustration, migrated my content over AND did it with a smile.

She recently ventured out on her own and if you ever need any sort of WordPress assistance, I highly recommend he company  Radiant IT Consulting. Here’s what they do:

Website Design

  • Logos
  • Navigation/Look & Feel
  • WordPress themes design
  • Graphics  (buttons, images, slideshows)

Custom Website Development

  • WordPress Plugins & Themes Development
  • HTML & CSS coding
  • Technical Support & Maintenance
  • Quality Assurance Testing

Strategic Services

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media & Web Presence
  • Content Management & Development
  • Comparative and/or Competitive Analysis
  • Usability and 508 Compliance testing

Training

  • “Train the Trainer” Training
  • Development of training materials
  • Software/Website/Application Administration Training
  • Business Development Training

Content Creation

  • Blog/Article Writing
  • Government Proposal Writing/Editing/Organizing
  • Content Editing/Proofreading

Tell her Jackie sent you!

Momma’s Must Haves

Momma's Must Haves

Since I’ve been a Momma for just over 8 weeks, I’m considering myself an expert. Just kidding. I am flying by the seat of my pants just like everyone else.  I’ve had a few friends recently get pregnant (congrats!!) and ask me what I would recommend goes on their registry. Here are my top 5:

1. WubbaNub: I am a big pacifier fan, and thankfully so is Mikey. I read about these on another blog and decided to use some of our gift card funds to pick up a few. Mikey loves them! It’s a soft animal literally attached to a Soothie pacifier. I’ve caught Mike holding the animal in his sleep and we have yet to lose one – which makes the price tag a little easier to swallow. The only other complaint is how to wash them, which I am still working out. FYI – Babies R Us has them for cheaper.

2. Summer Infant SwaddleMe: S. took the Dad’s class and was a swaddling expert. Me on the other hand … not so much. Especially when we were in the hospital for 5 days and exhausted. Welcome the SwaddleMe. They are soft cotton pre’made’ swaddles with velcro. So you put the baby in the ‘pouch’, fold one side over, then fold the other side over and velcro closed – ta da! Instant baby burrito. Mikey was a HUGE fan of these and it helped him relax and stop crying. He looked like a glow worm.

3. adan + anais Muslin Burpy Bib:  I am obsessed with adan + anais products. I got one of these burpy bibs as a hand me down and was really impressed with it’s size. Mikey has some impressive spit ups and somehow this burp cloth catches it every time. Plus, it has small hidden snaps so it can snap around his neck covering a large area – critical if you kid spits up like mine. The muslin washes great too.

4. adan + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets:  Guess what! Prince George was photographed with one of these blankets! First of all, finding lightweight blankets for summer babies is damn near impossible. We got a few as gifts and they were heavy or fleecy. I passed these a few times at Buy Buy Baby, but couldn’t justify to price – until I couldn’t find anything else. Best. Purchase. Ever. I’m not sure why they are marketed as swaddle blankets. I use them as blankets, car seat cover, nursing cover (when I was nursing) and a changing pad. It’s HUGE and they wash great. Plus I love their prints.

5. Baby K’Tan: I will be the first to sing the praises of the ErgoBaby carrier, but it is hard to wear and work on a computer.  I liked the concept of a sling, but slings seem be confusing to put on and time consuming.  I did some research before I went back to work and found a lot of positive reviews of the Baby K’Tan. It’s really easy to put on after the third try and it has a variety of positions. Mikey’s favorite is the hug position, facing me.  I can quickly put the sling on and slide him in and within 5 minutes he is snoring and I am working uninterrupted. What else do I love? It is 2 pieces and the big one fits in the pocket of the other piece. AND when I am wearing it, that same pocket is available for his WubbaNub or house keys. Or cookies.

VP of Snuggles

The weeks have been flying and I haven’t had a minute to get my thoughts in order – Momma brain perhaps?

Guess what? I’m officially a working momma! Sometimes the stars just align and God’s ears hear the words from my mouth. Remember in March when I was laid off? Well, my boss and run in the same social circle so we’ve stayed in touch naturally. I told her I was holding out as long as possible for a position when they could afford to bring me back, and it happened just in time! She needed and Executive Assistant/Business Development person part time to start, then full time in a few months. Which is the perfect scenario for me. But wait, it gets better. Sonjara is a virtual company, so we all work from home and go into the office as needed and while I am home and in the office, Mike can come too! I am hoping that lasts a few weeks while he is still not mobile and his needs are pretty simple.  I am beyond blessed for this opportunity and thankful I waited for a company that shares my values and is family friendly.

Today was my first day back, and Mike – my VP of Snuggles – was a trooper. He slept,  ate, and played in his LulyBoo happily.  The funny thing is my Sister in Law has her last day of work tomorrow so she can be a stay at home mom – her dream.  When I heard that she was able to do that, I felt a twinge of jealousy and it took me awhile to figure out why. Then I realized, I wish that was my dream. I wish I had the desire to stay home and spend my day with Mike, but I just don’t.

Living in the DC Metro area, 2 incomes is very necessary, so it’s not an option for us. I admire mommas and dads who stay home with their babies and I also admire mommas and dads who go to the office everyday. I am not envious of how the ‘other half live’, maybe because I am with a company that understands work-life balance (suck it Yahoo!).

Mike’s 2 month appointment is next week – can you believe it?