Saturday, July 8, 2017

Our family update, recent partnerships & some pics!

Oh my goodness.  I haven't blogged since February.  I had to take a hiatus though because... life.   Sometimes I feel like it's justified, since I post almost daily on my Instagram (@sincerelystevieblog). If you don't follow me there though, you probably assumed I fell off the face of the Earth.  Sorry about that.

So I feel like I should give a bit of an update on us:

We are doing well!  Let's start with my hubby.  He has been working HARD, & long hours, he started a new company this year & it's been insane.  He is now putting on Expos for the auto industry.  He's been in the business for over 10 years & a part of these Expos as a vendor & key-note speaker, but now he actually started a company that is throwing their own.  It's exciting, scary, & SO much work.  So needless to say I've been on my own with the kiddos more than I was when he was working from home.  I'm not complaining though, I would take a hard working/driven/entrepreneur husband over the opposite any day.  Right?  He still manages to somehow put us first too, which is what makes him so incredible.

MJ's birthday Feb 4th, we celebrated at Medieval Times in Dallas. 

I'm doing great.  I was missing my family like crazy so right after Jace was born I started planning a family vacation with my brother.  We all met in SoCal for a Disneyland trip.  We started in Palm Springs to visit my mom & her boyfriend at their new home, & then finished the trip with my brother in OC.  It was absolutely wonderful & I never wanted it to end!

The day we arrived in Palm Springs, this is at my mom's!

The infamous "Pink Door" in Palm Springs... it has it's own Instagram page & hashtag.  Check it out.

2 days at Disneyland with my brother & his family.  We were in heaven & had such a great time!

Beach day in Corona Del Mar!

I joined Mops right after Jace was born, at our church.  I fell in love with it so much that I decided to join leadership for the upcoming Mops year which starts in September.  So, all of that is getting started right now which is super exciting.  One might think "how do you have time for that?" but honestly, if I am spending my free time in any way, I want it to be helping other mamas on this crazy journey, & help them know Jesus.  I also love being actively involved in my church, & it doesn't hurt that it's with a tribe of awesome mamas.  I'm also still going strong with my spray tan business & have a little salon out of my home.  I enjoy doing that on the side so much! Other than all of that, trying to make time to grow my "Insta-blog" life, & take care of my 3 sweet boys, that's about it!

Cole turned 6 in April & graduated from KINDERGARTEN.  His last day of school was super emotional for me.  His teacher was SUCH a gem, & Cole was blessed enough to have her as a teacher for her last year teaching at his school.  Cole did soccer for 8 seasons straight with Michael coaching, so we are taking a break for the summer.  Cole becomes more & more like me every day, proving to be the "mini-me" of the 3 boys.  He's VERY type-A, talkative, outgoing, social, smart, & friendly.  One part of him that is more like Michael than me, is he's extremely good at math.  Also interested in it!  I hated math.  Cole is showing to be more "left brained" than I was as a kid.  I know I'm bragging but I can't help it, he scored perfect on his entire report card & math assessment at the end of the year.  I know that doesn't seem like much in Kindergarten but here in Frisco, TX it is!  I hope he continues to do this well in school & his love for learning never dies!

Brody graduated his first year of pre-school!  He also had two of the most AMAZING teachers who taught him so much about Jesus.  I was amazed at the things he would say when he came home from school, & the bible stories that he learned about.  His teachers told me that he was so good in class, always cooperated & was friends with everyone.  Brody tried soccer but I think it was a little too early for him to be interested.  He'd run on the field for a couple seconds & then say he was done for the game.  Lol!  We will be trying sports with him again this next year though, because I am convinced he is my athlete.  He's the most physical one of my boys yet!  He's built like a football player so far... not sure if that's a sport he'd be interested in but it'd sure be cool!  Brody is turning 4 this month on the 21st.  His best friend Marco from school (whose mommy is one of my favorite people on Earth) also has a summer birthday.  Since Brody & Marco are attached at the hip, & Marco leaves for vacation over their birthdays, we decided to throw them a joint party last weekend.  We will celebrate Brody turning 4 again though on his actual birthday!

This is actually from 5 months ago, but I had to share them... he's so photogenic it's insane!

Jace just turned 7 months old!  He is my EASIEST & happiest baby yet.  Thank God for that!  I always say that if I would have had him first, I probably would have wanted 10 more kids.  He is just so "go-with-the-flow", adaptive to every situation, a fast/efficient nurser, & can I just say how OBSESSED with his brothers he is?!  It's the most beautiful thing watching the 3 of them together.  Jace is on the VERGE of crawling as we speak, he's so determined to be able to follow them around everywhere.  He's currently loving just sitting on the living room floor & playing with his toys, especially when the boys play with him.  Jace has just been a dream come true.  I'm truly holding onto every stage, every moment, every phase he's in with all that I have, knowing that he's my last baby.  Now that I know just HOW fast it's over, I want to cherish every second.  Even when I'm sleep deprived & delirious, I don't even care.  I love him like crazy.

Recently I was featured on Little Miss Dessa's blog "How Does She Do It?" series.  I'm honored to even be a part of anything with a title like that.  It's a fun interview that was done back in March if you'd like to take a peak!

As my Instagram account has grown, I've partnered with some amazing companies.  It's been a pleasure working with brands that I love & sharing my reviews on products I truly believe in & love! I work with a lot of baby & children's products/clothing, & some products for women as well.  I recently became a Pink Blush ambassador which is awesome, I love their clothes! I've blogged about many of these companies in the past & posted about all of them on Instagram of course, but I thought I'd re-cap some of the ones here in this post that I haven't put on my blog yet:

It was an honor to partner with Taylor Golden's Wild Bird baby sling.  Jace loved it before he grew out of it!  

After seeing the sharks on ABC's the Shark Tank fight over who got to invest in Tranquilo Mat, I knew I had to have Jace try it.  I will talk about it more in an upcoming sleep training post.  This gorgeous personalized blanket pictured is by Jennifer Ann by Julianna Creations.  This is my favorite baby blanket for Jace & I love that he will have it forever!

Teething Toes - put a sock on your baby's foot with toes on it for them to teeth on! Brilliant right?!

The boys were sent tons of adorable swim trunks & swim briefs by Stella Cove.  Amazing quality & super cute designs.  They're living in them this summer!

Super cute kimono by Pulse Fashion.

A dress & top by Pink Blush.  I've received a lot of great pieces from Pink Blush that I love, & will continue to post my favorites since I'm an ambassador for them now!  One hint when ordering from them: Everything runs pretty big.  So order a size down!

Such a fun top that says "Messy bun & getting stuff done" by My Cheeky Baby & this organic bamboo teething necklace that Jace LOVES by Jellie Maples!

One of my favorite items for Jace, this teething ring attached to a lovie by Little Ewe & Me on Etsy.  So precious!

This top I got SO many compliments on by Ford and Wyatt & the boy's organic cotton outfits by Colored Organics which are SO soft!

Jace's cute onesie with one of my favorite bible verses printed on it by Ebon and Ivory!

Monthly subscription box of books by Bookroo. It's nice to have a new couple books arrive in the mail every month to keep things new. ;)

So many cute tanks by Betty Rukus, I live in them.

Coming soon I'll be posting all about the current "must-haves" for Jace, I have some awesome products to share with y'all!  I also have a lot more planned, so stay tuned!

Don't forget to follow me on my Instagram for more frequent updates on what's happening in our family. Thanks for reading friends!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day! My favorite date night look + Irresistible Me Extension before/after!

Good morning loves!

Happy Valentines Day!  Today is one of my favorite holidays.  I think it's great we have a day of the year dedicated to showing the people in our life that we love them!  Shouldn't every day be Valentines Day?  I think so.  ;)  If you're single, you can still celebrate!  Show your family, friends, or YOURSELF some love!

This day is very special to Michael & I because he proposed to me on Valentines Day of 2005.  So every year I like to get all pretty & done-up for him, & then we go on a date.  Today will be the first year in 12 years that we aren't going out... we can't leave baby Jace with a sitter because he won't take a bottle.  He's also only 10 weeks so I'm not sure my mommy heart is ready to part from him yet.  SO, we are putting them all to bed at 7:30 & doing a romantic date night at home.  I'm still going to get pretty for my man because it's one of my favorite parts of Valentines Day.  I want to keep it as romantic as possible... & the sweat pants + messy bun look MIGHT not be so cute.  Haha!

I wanted to share my favorite date night beauty tricks.

1.  Hair Extensions! Specifically Irresistible Me clip-in extensions I shared all about in my last blog post! There's nothing that makes me feel more glamorous than thick, long hair.  It's such a fun transformation when you want to feel extra pretty!  I never got around to showing the before & after photos with the Irresistible Me extensions in so here they are:

There are 2 main reasons I LOVE these extensions:  
1.  The quality of the hair.  Like I explained in my previous post, I have tried many different kinds of extensions, & the quality MATTERS believe me.  These are real human hair, thick & silky, & style SO well with whatever hair tool you want to use on them.  (In these pics I used a 2" curling wand).  
2.  How EASY they are to put in!  This is the first time I've used clip-ins & I'm not looking back.  I've had extensions damage my hair a TON & I lost chunks of hair when they came out.  These extensions can't do that your hair, which is why they're amazing.  Plus, you can take them out & put them in so quickly/easily unlike most other types of extensions.

To get some of these for yourself, here's the link!

2.  A GOOD fake tan! As some of you may know, I have my own spray tanning business.  I encourage you to find a good spray tan artist in your area who uses QUALITY solution.  You get what you pay for.  Trust me, I've tested every kind there is.  I could go on & on about spray tan solutions but that's for a different day.  (Message me if you have any questions & I'd be happy to answer them for you).  If you don't have time to go get a good spray tan, here is my current favorite AT HOME self tanner:

You can find this at Sally's Beauty Supply.  It's super dark so WEAR GLOVES or your palms will turn dark brown!  It's FAR from orange & looks gorgeous on.  The foam is so much easier to blend than lotion & you can see it as you rub it in, helping you to avoid streaks.  :)

3.  Fake lashes!  Ladies, I've been using these since dance team days in high school.  I have NO eyelashes so I feel so much better with these on.  If you're a newbie, don't be intimidated.  They're actually really easy to put on.  You just put a skinny line of glue along the edge & slowly/carefully place the lashes as close to your lash line as possible.  Put one finger on each end of the lashes & hold there for about a minute.  The glue dries clear.  My favorite ones are these:

I've used many different kinds though... as long as they're the kind that are all in one piece.  I don't do the individual lashes!  You can find them everywhere that sells makeup!  I usually get them from Target.

4.  Bold lips!  I'm all about a good berry colored lip stick right now.  I've bought a ton of different shades recently & my FAVORITE one I've found is Katy Perry lipstick in "Kitty Purry".  I found mine at Target... it's so pretty!

All of the above tricks in addition to the rest of your makeup, maybe a little bit heavier on the eyeshadow & bronzer + a sexy outfit, & you'll be feeling like a new woman for your date! ;)

I hope you enjoyed these tips even thought they're a little bit out of the norm from what I usually post!  It's important to feel good about ourselves & not forget about looking good for our hubbies even when we're tired & busy mamas.  I hope you all have a wonderful Valentines Day!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Irresistible Me Hair Extension review!

Hey everyone!

I'm so excited to be partnered up with Irresistible Me hair extensions.  I've had a tad bit of an obsession with hair extensions ever since the early 2000's when Paris Hilton went from her chopped off hair to those long silky blonde extensions.  SO cheesy I know, but I have always loved the idea of being able to go from short hair to long whenever you please!  I used to have super short hair & during the awkward process of growing it out, hair extensions SAVED me.

The very first kind I tried were from Sally's Beauty Supply back in 2004!  I GLUED them to my scalp!  HORRIBLE.  Those did so much damage to my hair.  I used those for a few years.  When I turned 25 in 2008 I chopped my hair off again & after about 6 months I wanted extensions again during the grow out stage.  That's when I had the bead hair extensions put in.  Those were okay but a lot of maintenance required.  Every 4 weeks back to the salon to have them tightened.  They also cost an arm & a leg!  After that, I started getting the weft extensions that are basically put in with hair tape.  Those were better than the beads but still a ton of maintenance to have them tightened regularly.  When I got pregnant with Brody, I decided to take out my extensions for awhile.

Well, I haven't had them since, but I had been hearing so much about clip in extensions which I had never tried.  My hair is long & pretty thick/super fine.  I've always been interested in getting some clip-in hair extensions for special occasions.  I love to have extra thick hair to play with & style.  Something about it makes me feel like a Barbie doll. ;)

So that's what I wanted to share today, are these GORGEOUS clip-in extensions by Irresistible Me.  I got 22" platinum ones from the Silky Touch category.  The 22" are 200g of hair.  That is A LOT.  They actually came with so much hair, I can't fit it all on my head!  Not a bad problem to have, now I just have extra hair that will last me a long time. :)

Here is what the fun packaging looks like:

 Here's all of the hair it comes with!!


Putting them in was SUPER easy.  No teasing of the roots required.  I'm going to do another post showing my before/after, but here's a picture of how I looked after putting them in & styling them for the first time:

Here is the link to the Irresistible Me website to get some of your own. Have I mentioned how affordable they are?!

I love them so much! Next post coming ASAP.  Now time to go rock a screaming baby who WILL. NOT. SLEEP!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Jace's Nursery Reveal!

Hey everyone!

I am SO excited that I can finally reveal Jace's nursery.  I've been working on it since early in my pregnancy, but couldn't finish it until recently.  It was being used as a guest room for awhile but we just put the guest bed in a different room of the house & I immediately got to finishing Jace's room.

I knew from the beginning I wanted to do rustic chic, my FAVORITE decorating style right now.  Searching for inspiration online & Pinterest, I couldn't really find exactly what I envisioned.  So I just started finding things I wanted in the room, & slowly but surely it started coming together!

When I first found out I was pregnant, my best friend gave the baby the nickname "Baby Star", because he would be the 5th & final family member, & a star has 5 points to it. ;)  So I decided to incorporate stars into the nursery.  Other than that there is no major "theme".  I just knew I wanted natural elements along with some pops of "bling" AKA: rustic chic!

Here it is! I'll share below the pictures where everything is from.  Here is the view from the door:

The Crib: Ikea SNIGLAR
Big sign on wall: Hobby Lobby
Crib sheet: Copper Pearl
Hanging stars: Gift from a friend
Black & white pillow: Ikea
Metallic lamp on stand: Ikea
White curtains: Ikea
This adorable personalized poster is from: Dilemma Posters

The nightstand in the corner was given to me 4 years ago by a friend... I painted it with Rustoleum paint & we put on new hardware (the J & the stars, both from Hobby Lobby!)

"I love you to the moon & back" sign from Hobby Lobby, basket is from Ross!

This rocker was gifted to me from a friend (she is the sweetest person on EARTH!) & it's from Baby's R Us!
Pillow on the chair: Target
Stool: Ross
Baby swaddle blanket on wall: Modern Burlap
Changing table pad cover: Modern Burlap
"God gave me You" sign: Hobby Lobby
Other shelf decor: Ross
Name banner: DIY project by me
Metal baskets: Target
Changing table was also a gift from a different friend (yep - I'm blessed with awesome friends.)  I'm not sure where it's from, I'm sorry!!

This little hutch actually transforms into a changing table & is from Ikea.  So is the basket & the 2 star lanterns.  The box at the bottom with the J on it is from Ross.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Introducing Jace Bentley Jackson + The Birth Story.


My third son, Jace Bentley Jackson was born on December 6, 2016 at 2:07 pm.  He weighed 9.7 lbs & was 22.5"!  His weight shocked us all!  My first sons were a lot smaller, & I'm not very big myself.  I knew he was bigger than everyone predicted though, I was the one having my bladder & ribs kicked simultaneously for months & months. ;)  It was ALL worth the aches, pains, & lung smooshing though, lol! He's a dream come true.

Here's the birth story:

After praying & praying that Jace would come naturally on his own, I was induced 3 days after my due date on 12/6/16.  I was so extremely uncomfortable, & my OB had to get an induction put on the schedule ahead of time so that my doctor would for sure be the one to deliver him for me.  My mom came into town from California on Thanksgiving day on a one-way, & couldn't wait around much longer for the baby to be born.  If I waited longer, there was a good chance she would miss the birth.  So, knowing that my due date had passed & unsure that my body could handle any more of the torture, I didn't postpone the induction date.

Michael & I went in to the hospital at 5:00 am on 12/6.  My mom stayed home to get Cole off to school, & for my good friend Lauren to pick Brody up for the day.  (I am so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life who jumped in & helped.)  When I got to the hospital, they started the Pitocen  pretty quick.  I wasn't excited for this part, as I was induced with my first 2 boys as well & know that Pitocen not only starts contractions quickly but makes them a little bit harder.  Thankfully, & to my surprise, I was dilated to 4 by the time they started the Pitocen - so my body was more ready this time around than with my 2 previous deliveries.  This gave me comfort.  I'd say my contractions really picked up about an hour & a half later.  I remember the painful contractions really started up around 8:30 am because my mom called at that point... she was in the parking lot of the hospital.  I couldn't even explain to her where to park & had to have Michael do it.  

By 9:30 am I was begging for the Epidural.  No, I am not one of those amazing women who can do it without pain meds!  Or chooses to I guess you could say.  I love homeopathic treatments & going the natural route when at all possible... but... labor contractions have always been pure torture for me. So, in this situation I am always thankful to God for modern medicine!  

I hung out pain free for awhile visiting with my husband, mom, & the nurses.  It went by SO fast after the epidural.  What seemed like an hour later but was really about 3, I felt the pressure of his head & knew it was time to push.  The nurse didn't think I was really going to be ready, but when she checked she said "yep! You're right.  I'll call up the doctor now."  My awesome OB came in & could feel his head right there, & told me to start pushing.  

That's when it happened, my super woman moment.  I literally pushed 3 TIMES & he came out! I felt a HUGE release of pressure out of my ribs immediately after that final push. The first words out of my doctor's mouth were "He is NOT small!!!"  She laid him on my chest immediately & Michael proudly cut the cord.  The emotions flooded in & I was instantly in a love trance, staring at my sweet & chubby baby boy!  When they went to weigh him, Michael of course made jokes about how big his balls looked (they're always swollen at first, lol!)  Then they weighed him & even I underestimated how big he'd be.  9.7 lbs?!  Out of my tiny frame?!  Insane.  His finger nails were even long.  I knew if I had waited any longer he would have been 10 lbs or more, he was READY to come out.

The rest of the day was spent falling in love with our sweet new angel baby from heaven.  The boys came just a few hours after he was born to meet him.  It was absolutely precious to see the reactions on their faces when they saw their baby brother for the first time.

The Jackson 5 are now complete.

Thank you so much for reading the story about one of the best days of my life!

I've never been happier. Thank you Lord Jesus.