Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Embrace The Legging

    You've probably seen the pictures that say something along the lines of  "leggings are not pants " or maybe you've just thought it yourself. Well I'm here to tell you something that might be shocking; legging wearers don't care.
    I'll admit at one point I was on the fence about leggings as pants.  After all leggings aren't "technically" pants. At the same time though, that's the beauty of leggings, they're not pants but they can take the place of pants.
    My love affair with leggings was a slow burn you could say. It started with wearing them under skirts and dresses in the middle school years. I treated them as merely a thicker form of tights. Who remembers that trend? Cropped leggings anyone?
    Then it transitioned to tunics and long shirts. Somewhere along the way I was a full blown leggings and a sweater girl.
   Perhaps I started getting braver about my unabashed love of leggings in my pregnancy. After all leggings are an expectant mother's best friend. Yes I did wear the good ol' maternity jeans, but most of the time I was in black leggings. And after I had my son leggings were the perfect wardrobe staple to make me feel put together, and not like I was still transitioning between my pregnant body and my before baby body
    Now I don't bat an eye about going out in leggings and a regular hem shirt. Why would I? I've never shied away from wearing a bathing suit at the beach or pool, and even the most conservative bathing suits show more than a pair of black leggings do. I have nothing to hide, and neither do you. Embrace the legging.
     For one thing, black leggings go with everything. They're the perfect canvas to work around.  I don't worry in the morning about whether my pants go with my outfit, because they always do. Bonus: I never have to worry about ironing them. Leggings are basically a girl's best friend, sorry diamonds.
    Let's face it. Leggings are just more comfortable than most pants. I don't need to tell y'all that when you feel comfortable you are more confident. And of course when you're feeling your most confident good things shall happen. Or at least you're more likely to be open to them.    
    So the next time you're wondering whether someone will judge you for stepping out in your leggings, just don't wonder. Instead enjoy the complete free range of motion you'll have in your leggings. Embrace the legging.

P.S. Full disclosure, as I'm writing this I'm wearing jeans. All my leggings are in the wash. I feel like a traitor.

Friday, February 10, 2017

5 Ways To Improve Your Skin

   Happy Friday y'all! I hope everyone's week has gone well, if not cheer up, Friday is here! For this week's Five on Friday I thought I'd share five ways you can improve your skin. So if you're worried about your skin being dull, constantly blemish ridden, or just anything besides radiant, read on!

1. Moisturize

    For years I thought I shouldn't moisturize my skin because it could aggravate acne. Your skin still needs moisture. I use the Anew Vitale Day Cream, which is specifically for women in their 20s to 30s. It's so important to not just moisturize but to use a moisturizer suited for your skin type. Moisturizing is your best bet against the first signs of aging, such as fine lines. It's always best to start before you see any aging, so if you don't have a daily moisturizer today is the day to find the right one for you.

2. Exfoliate
     In order for your skin to look good not only without makeup but also with, you need to be exfoliating. It is ideal to exfoliate once per week in the Winter, and every few days in the warm weather months. Your makeup won't blend right if you're stuck with dead skin cells on your face. I use the Anew Clean Refining Daily Scrub. If you want a more thorough scrub try out the Anew Clean Cleansing Brush. You can use your regular daily facial cleanser with it, and it's suitable for all skin types. It cleans 5 times better than your hands alone. Bonus tip: try exfoliating when you go to wash your makeup off. Not only will you be exfoliating away the dead skin, but you'll make sure not a trace is left of your makeup.

3. Ice, Ice, Baby
     This one isn't really a long term fix for your skin. It's more of  a "I have someone coming over in 10 minutes and I still need to pick up the living room" quick fix for your skin. Which we could all use every once in a while. Take an ice cube and just suck on it for a few minutes, until it melts basically. The ice chills the millions of cells in your cheeks and lips, which will cause increased circulation, and leaves you with the result of plumper, rosier skin.

4. Clean Your Phone
     You don't have to watch Inside Edition to know that your phone is a breeding ground for every germ imaginable. Germs are flawless skin's biggest foe. So if you really want to improve your skin start cleaning your phone as often as possible. Your skin will thank you.

5. Clean Your Makeup Brushes
     Makeup brushes trap in all those germs found on your face and in your makeup like that Swiffer duster you used to clean the ceiling fan. Think about that. Now go grab your makeup brushes, some baby shampoo, warm water, and get to cleaning. Once you've cleaned them, pat the bristles dry (reshaping them if necessary) and let them dry on a fresh hand towel. Voila.

   Well there you have it folks, five ways to improve your skin, and none of them are super expensive or involve heavy amounts of Botox and other unknown injectables. What are your favorite skincare tips?

Linking up with April

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Read The Baby Books

    It's official, you're going to be a mother. Whether you're pregnant, adopting, using a surrogate, you're about to enter new and unexplored terroriy. Naturally you wanna be prepared for what lies ahead so you pick up a few baby books. You decide to ask a friend/sister/mom group what books they read when they were waiting for their baby. Some provide a few books they enjoyed, and then there's that one. You know the one. She proudly says "oh I never read any of those books, you'd be better off to just take it as it comes".
     Now I will admit the moms that turn their noses up at reading pregnancy or parenting books often have some valid points, but I am astounded by the number of blogs where moms actually WARN other moms about reading baby books.
    I'm here to tell you, read the baby books. I'm not saying you have to, but there is no harm in being more informed. Knowledge is power, my friends.
     Have you ever noticed that the same moms who warn about baby books also dole out their own parenting advice freely (and maybe unasked for)? Coinidence? I think not. Newsflash: no one is the perfect parent. No one is born knowing how to be a mother.
     I had a lot of experience with children before I was a mother. I had taught Sunday School, I taught children dance, I have 7 nieces and nephews that I used to babysit all the time. I was even called "the grandchild wrangler". Even with all of that experience with and around children when I had my son it was all new to me. For one thing a lot of the things I went through with my son or my first son for that matter weren't things anyone that was my contemporary was going through. So I turned to other resources. Yes baby books, but also books about grief and mommy blogs, really anything that I could read and see myself or my babies in.
     You will never hear a mother say "I wish I didn't know this when I was expecting". I'll say the most crucial time to read any book or blog or online resource involving your child is during pregnancy. There are so many signs and symptoms that unless you've read about it you wouldn't know that something is wrong.
      I'm not here to tell you that reading baby books will make you the right kind of mother for your child. I'm just trying to tell you, don't fear the baby books. Don't be afraid of knowledge. Besides it's much easier to just ignore advice in a book than to tell your relative you don't want to use their advice.
      How do you feel about the great baby book debate?

Monday, February 6, 2017

I Used To Hate The Bachelor


   So I have a little confession for y'all today. I didn't always love The Bachelor, in fact I use to hate it. Yes you read that right . I found the whole show ridiculous. Why would any woman want to be a part of a show like that?  I would hear people talk about how much they loved it, or how he should have totally picked the other one and I'd be like "uh huh sure". I wouldn't have watched it if you paid me. I was so above it (insert eye-roll).
    That all changed last January. It had aired the night before and I thought maybe I'll see if they have it On Demand, see what all the fuss is about. After all there has to be a reason women (and men, my brother is a fan, although he isn't watching this season because of Nick) tune in every Monday night. Two hours later I was hooked.
     Maybe it was the anticipation of who Ben Higgins would pick, or what the bachelorettes would wear for the cocktail party, but if I'm being honest it was probably the drama. I mean who could forget Lace and her "I'm not crazy" choruses, or Olivia instead of offering her condolences to Ben when his friend died  just talked about her cankles. These women were either fantastic actors or just a little crazy (sorry, Lace).
     As the weeks went on I had my favorites, Olivia (she's from Virginia!), Lauren B., Amanda, and JoJo. My pick for the final rose from the beginning was Olivia, even before she got the first impression rose. Then it was (finally) down to the final two, Lauren B. and JoJo, and shocker; he's in love with BOTH of them! I of course just knew he would pick JoJo, even his mom liked her. And he picked Lauren.
  I was crushed. In that moment we were all JoJo. Unless of course you were rooting for Lauren  (my Mom picked her the first night!).  Then the JoJo fans rejoiced when she was announced as the new Bachelorette, and us Bachelor Nation newbies suddenly had a reason to watch. I was officially a Bachelor fan. How had that happened?
   I'm now one of those girls that tunes in eagerly every Monday night, who asks other known Bachelor fans if they caught last week's episode. I even did a Bachelor fantasy draft this season. And you know what, I wish I had started watching sooner.
   Full disclosure for this season: I'm totally Team Corinne, probably because Taylor is so overbearing and oftentimes rude I can't imagine she's a very successful mental health counselor. Maybe it's more like those that can't do teach thing? Assuming that saying is actually true. In the words of Corinne, Taylor "you do you, Imma do me". Preach.
    While I side with Corinne on the Corinne vs. Taylor thing I think/hope Nick will pick Danielle M.
    Are there any shows you used to hate that you now love? If you're a fellow Bachelor fan who are you rooting for this season?

Friday, February 3, 2017

5 Cooking Skills Anyone Should Have Down


   Hey y'all! Today I thought I'd share just 5 cooking skills I think anyone should have mastered. So many people find themselves intimated by cooking, and they really shouldn't be. After most of cooking is just following directions. Once you have a few of the basic dishes or skills down you can modify here and there to suit your personal taste. And if like me you already have these skills down you could use this list as a starting point to teach your kids the basics of cooking. Well let's get started!

1. How To Cook Eggs
   Eggs are one of the most versatile things you could cook. You can have them scrambled, hard boiled, soft boiled, poached, fried, over easy, in a quiche, an omelet, a frittata, you get the picture. You should know how to make eggs at least 3 different ways. My favorite way is definitely quiche. Quiche is good for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

2. How To Cook Rice
   I know this sounds super easy, but I have had too many rice fails to count, and I'm a pretty good cook if I do say so. One time I accidently put in DOUBLE the amount of water to make minute rice. At first I'm all "oh no, not again! This is going to be horrible!!!". Then I let it cook a little longer and I realized something really cool, my little mistake had made sticky rice! So I guess you could say my epic fail became an epic win? But seriously cooking rice right should be on your list.

3. How To Make A Yummy Cookie
    We all love the Christmas tree cookies you can get in the refrigeration section of the grocery store. I know I do! But it's also good to know how to make one really yummy cookie recipe. It doesn't have to be fancy, or super time consuming. In fact my favorite cookie to make, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, is only 4 ingredients.

4. How To Make Mac 'n' Cheese
    Everyone should know how to make a really good mac 'n' cheese, and not the boxed kind. Mac 'n' cheese is one of those foods I could live off of, like literally. It's a crowd pleaser, a comfort food, and an excellent source of dairy! My favorite recipe for mac 'n' cheese is only 4 ingredients. There's tons of different ways to make mac 'n' cheese a little different. You could add bacon, more cheese, jalophenos, whatever you want.

5. How To Make A Casserole
     Casseroles are the easy staple of many households across America. You can make one with noodles, rice, chicken, beef, veggies, if you can think it, you can bake it. My favorite casserole I've made is BBQ Ranch Chicken Casserole. It doesn't take much prep time or actual cooking time, and if you have any bbq ranch sauce left over you could use it to dip chicken tenders or fries in for the next night's dinner.
     What was the first meal you learned to cook? What would you add to this list?

Linking up with April

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