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! https://www.irresistibleme.com/

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?! https://www.irresistibleme.com/

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.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"Mommy Essentials" part 3!

Hi everyone :)

It's time for the third & final part of my Mommy Essentials series, & I'm so excited to share with you some more of my favorite products that I think you'd love for your babies too!  I'm so excited for Jace to get here, I can hardly stand it!

1.  Milk Snob car seat & nursing cover.  Did you guys watch Shark Tank last Friday?!  I was SO excited to see the owner of Milk Snob on the show.  She had 3 sharks fighting over investing because her product is genius!  It's a car seat cover that converts into a nursing cover AND shopping cart cover for baby. When on the car seat there's just a little slit at the top that keeps strangers from touching your baby while in the car seat which I LOVE.  The lightweight & stretchy fabric is great for the nursing cover side of it, because if you've ever nursed a baby under a hot blanket you can understand why this is necessary!  These come in all kinds of cute prints, my choice was the black & white stripes!  There are some gorgeous floral print ones for all you girl mamas.  Definitely grab yourself one of these!
2.  Mint & Arrows swaddle sack.  Do you SEE how adorable this thing is?? I chose the Batman mask print because it just fits in so perfectly with out super hero obsessed fam.  I love that you don't have to wrap or tuck, just slide your little baby right in there so they're nice & cocooned in.  With a matching little hat to match, your baby will be snoozin' in style & comfort.  I can't wait to get some pics of Jace in his ASAP!
3.  Baby B Fresh Pacifier & Bottle Sanitizer.  Have you ever seen that Huggies commercial where the mom drops the baby's pacifier on the floor & just uses her mouth to clean it off for the baby?  Yeah, I've done the same thing.  Gross!  I'm so excited to have found this cool sanitizer that will take care of the germs for me this time.  It sanitizes not only bottles & pacifiers, but also sippy cups & some teething toys.  The older I get, the more of a germaphobe I become when it comes to my kids, so this couldn't have come into my life at a better time.  ;)  There are 3 to choose from:  the bear, ducky & tiger.  So cute!
4.  Nuroo nursing scarf.  I'm a huge supporter of breast feeding.  My mom always told me that it was a wonderful experience & that made me determined to nurse my babies for a long time as well.  Which I did, & will with Jace too of course.  That being said, I feel like it's crucial to find a nursing cover that is not only practical but stylish.  Why?  That way you are comfortable feeding your baby anywhere you go in public, & feel completely confident doing it.  I never knew there were nursing covers that actually turn into cute little scarfs too, until I discovered Nuroo!  It's a super soft & breathable for when you're nursing your little one, & then turns into a trendy little accessory.  I love more bang for my buck!  I chose the ivory with grey stripes, but they have other prints too.  I'm taking this to the hospital with me to use right when my little love comes out! :) 
5.  Bloom Baby Sensitive Wipes.  I learned the hard way with my first son that buying just any type of wipe was not going to cut it.  Not only do my babies all have very sensitive skin like I do, but if there are any chemicals in the wipes whatsoever it makes their little bottoms turn red & get diaper rash.  These wipes are made with 98% natural ingredients, they're hypo-allergenic & formaldehyde free, safe for rash prone skin (like my boys), they have a sensitive moisturizing lotion in them, & are enriched with vitamins A, B-complex, D, Omega-3, & 6!  Wow!  I have a feeling that Jace will have the same skin as the rest of us do, so I'm happy that I have these safe & sensitive wipes to use on him from day one.  These are available at select target locations!

There are many products I love so much, but I'm going to wrap up my series for now!  I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite products & love them as much as I do.

Time to put these crazy boys to bed now!  Good night! :)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

37 week pregnancy update & 50% off the world's BEST maternity leggings!

Happy weekend!

Well, baby Jace could technically arrive any day now!  If he did, he wouldn't even be considered pre-term.  I'm trying to be as prepared as possible & not think of it as having 3 weeks left, so just in case he does come early we're ready to go.  My mom is flying in on Thanksgiving day on a one-way ticket just to be here for the birth & to help out afterwards for a bit.  I'm so relieved that she will be here.  If the baby arrives earlier than that, I have a few amazing friends who have offered to help out with the boys if needed.

The last few days I've actually felt a little bit of relief.  Or maybe I'm just so used to the discomfort that I don't remember what it's like to not have it??  I've noticed that I don't have shortness of breath as much now which is nice!  It also probably means he's dropped down a bit, getting ready for his appearance. ;)

I thought I'd do a little 37 week update survey, so here it is!

How far along: 37 weeks
Gender: Boy
Weight gain: 30 lbs.
Maternity clothes: I can't wait to share about the best leggings on the planet.... see below. ;)
Stretch marks: No
Belly button in or out: Out!
Sleep: Between the 6 or 7 times a night I go to the bathroom, I'm sleeping pretty well. I do wake up super early sometimes unable to fall back asleep though.  
Best moment this week: I'll go with something that just happened this morning.  We went to my son's grade school for a special "pancakes with pope" (the principal) event since he raised enough on his fundraiser. As we got out of the car I realized I was wearing my SLIPPERS.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.  Pregnant brain is a REAL thing folks!
Miss anything: I miss being able to wear sexy skinny jeans & my toned body!  SO excited for that again!!!
Movement: Oh this crazy baby man moves constantly & the movements haven't really slowed down much either, even though he's running out of space!
Cravings: Water all day long with crushed ice, fruit, carbs, & sweets.  Big time.  The Halloween candy has been a problem.
Looking forward to: MEETING JACE BENTLEY JACKSON!!!!  We all want to smother him with kisses!
Okay so as I mentioned above, I want to share with you the BEST maternity leggings EVER.  They're from Blanqi, & they're high waist SUPPORT leggings.  I'm not even joking, I've been LIVING in them.  They're also great for post-baby support too so I can continue to wear them.  The stretchy material is super soft, SO extremely comfy, & I truly feel so much more support in these leggings than I do in any others!!

Oh... and I have good news!  I'm partnering with Blanqi to bring you exclusive early access to their Black Friday Sale!  This is your chance to get these amazing leggings HALF OFF!  Follow this link to unlock the hidden page & get your leggings at the discounted price before anyone else. ;)
If you're pregnant, do NOT miss out on this sale!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Jord Wood watch giveaway & our Fall Family Photos!

Good morning,

I hope your Monday has been off to a good start.  My big boy is at kindergarten today, my youngest is at preschool & I had a Moms in Prayer meeting this morning.  It's actually raining outside today & feels like fall.  So I'm going to enjoy my last couple of kid-less hours sipping a peppermint coffee, listening to the rain, & blogging!

I wanted to share some of our family photos we had taken a few weeks ago with Courtney Helsley Photography.  I met her through Instagram & it was fate! She lives not far from us & happens to be an amazing photographer.  Our photos came out gorgeous.

One of my favorite parts about family photo sessions is planning the OUTFITS, right down to the accessories.  This year I actually wore a 5 year old white maxi dress I bought from Guess that felt fitting for this shoot (& worked with my belly), & another blue dress I found from a shop nearby (they don't have a website otherwise I'd share it!) It's not even a maternity dress but I liked the way it fit so I bought it.  Cole is wearing a shirt by Cat and Jack from Target (I LOVE this brand), & Brody is wearing a grey sweater that Cole wore for last year's shoot.  (Poor kid always gets the hand-me-downs but we wanted him in grey & it had only been worn ONCE!)

Speaking of accessories, I do have to mention the watch that Michael is wearing in these photos.  It's a watch made out of WOOD by Jord!  It's such a cool watch.  They have men's & women's watches that are to die for.  I'm always looking for original ideas for Christmas/birthday/anniversary gifts & these unique watches are the PERFECT choice.  My husband even wore a shirt to go with it & I loved the way the photos turned out:

Here is a close-up of the gorgeous watch Michael is wearing... (I'm a sucker for pretty packaging & thought the wooden box it came in was super classy & masculine):

If teaming up with Jord in a giveaway right now that expires 11/20.  Contest winner gets a $75 e-gift code to the shop, and will be automatically selected and emailed.  All other entrants receive a $20 e-gift code automatically emailed to them just for entering!  Go to this link:https://www.woodwatches.com/g/sincerelystevie.  

Here are some of more of my favorites from our family photo session:

Thanks for stopping by, & remember to enter to win a $75 e-gift code to Jord!

(This post was sponsored by Jord Wood Watches.)