BALL CAPS + CUTOFFS

A place of makeup, spit up + what I'm cookin' up.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

9 WEEK UPDATE + WHAT WE'RE LOVIN' | mom life




Here we are.. Week 9. Holy crap. I can't even tell you where the time has gone. Merrick is smiling, laughing, hiccuping like crazy and pretty much the puzzle piece none of us even knew we were missing. It's crazy how you heart can just grow and expand like that... We're still adjusting and Penelope has still been a total dream through all of it. My heart explodes for her because I know going from being the only-child to sharing your parents can't be easy but she has totally gone above and beyond my hopes and dreams for how this transition could go!
 Oh, and before I forget.. because my mind always races these days:
Just a little side-note to the new moms out there... I just want you to know that the first two months are the hardest. Your hormones are still adjusting, you're getting used to your new normal and you're establishing new routines, all while running on zero sleep. It can be exhausting and full of crying - from you and the babe but just know; it gets better. So much better! And time really does fly by. I've always been told that the days are long but the years are short, and I've never heard a statement more true than that.

Merrick is finally sleeping through the night (at least it feels like that to us, haha)
When he was a newborn, like brand-spankin new, he would wake up every two hours on. the. dot.
We got one night of 5 hours and I think that gave me enough energy to get through the next few weeks because Devon and I both handled it like champs.
He finally started sleeping from about 9PM-5AM within the last week and has had more "full" nights of sleep than nights where he still needs to be fed every 3hrs or so, so we're finally starting to feel a little less zombie-like and a little more like our pre-newborn selves.

I have also been loving the Wonder Weeks App (again) because it is SO spot-on. I almost can't believe the accuracy of it and how helpful it is. If you aren't familiar with it, it just basically fills you in on growth-spurts your little one will go through during the first year and a half of their life. We just went through leap 2 and it was pretty much consistent; although he slept through the night, he wouldn't nap if my life depended on it. So for almost two weeks, I had two babies to tend to, one adamently more fussy than the other, BUT WE MADE IT. He's now back to his sleepy, snoozy-self and I'm back to folding laundry and checking the baby monitor every 5 seconds lol

Other than taking a million pictures of my TWO kids (I can't believe I'm even saying that - it still isn't real to me yet) I've loved seeing the relationship between P and Merrick form and grow. Although we will be going through some changes in the coming months when P starts school in August, I can't want to spend the summer with the two of them - every single minute.


ANYWAY.. I totally meant to get this post out when Merrick turned a month old but life is a blur and I'm finally getting around to what we're loving at a month+! It's amazing how many new things there are to try in just three short years since I had P! There are soooo many new gadgets - some worth it, some not. I'll be sharing my thoughts on it alllllll, so here it goes....


| SLEEP |

which we purchased HERE. It's a TOTAL dupe for the Bratt Decor cribs but half of the price. I fell in love with the rod iron look but I didn't want to pay the price for a BD one so I searched and found the one we ended up getting and to be honest, I couldn't be happier. It's SO solid, sturdy and was so easy to put together - I was able to do it alone (carrying it and all) at 8 months pregnant, if that tells you anything. It's probably my favorite feature of the nursery!

I totally thought this would be a gimmick, I won't lie. I thought it was all hype and would end up on the floor, or at the end of our bed just hanging out until I finally put it away for good but I was SO wrong. This little thing is a MUST-HAVE. Merrick has slept in this since the day he came home from the hospital! I even bought bought Penelope the Grand dock because the poor girl fell out of her bed the other night and I've been afraid of it happening again ever since. I also got Merrick the grand for when he gets a little bigger because I love it SO much!
Plus, the Deluxe now comes with a little toy bar that Merrick loves to stare and grab at! We were able to skip out on the playmat completely this time because the dockatot doubles as both - woohoo.

To be honest, we haven't used it. It's a solid, sturdy piece that Penelope uses to hang off of and swing with. The good news? It hasn't fallen over soooo that's good, right? Maybe we'll get some use out of it when M is a little older... we'll see. But for right now, it's a catch-all in our room.... ha

| FEEDING |

Well, if you followed my story with Penelope, you'd know my background with breastfeeding. I had truly hoped it would work out this time but hey, it didn't. It's either me or a genetic factor with me or between them but both of my kids lose weight drastically when I breastfeed - to a point that it's dangerous and it got pretty severe with Merrick this time. Unfortunately, I just can't pump. Trust me, I've tried everything. Cookies, tea, lactation consultants - everything to pumping all. day. long. I just don't get a let-down while pumping and that just happens to some women and well, I'm one of em'. I have a great supply but I can't use a pump and hand-expressing just takes entirely too much time with a toddler around and when you start to supplement and you can't pump, unfortunately your supply takes a hit. I'm sad that I don't get that one-on-one but I'm extremely lucky that we live in a world where I can get my hands on the VERY best formula. I hate to think if I lived in the stone-ages and the lack of options I would have... I may not have two beautiful babies and that thought is SCARY. So I remain thankful! Anyway, even if I'm not currently pumping or breastfeeding, I have a really great suggestions for those of you mamas that do!

THESE are AMAZING. The flow is super slow and truly mimics the flow of breastmilk. For the first two weeks that Merrick was breastfeeding, these didn't cause any nipple confusion whatsoever. They really made sure he was feeding and not becoming lazy at the boob PLUS they come in a glass bottle, which was an awesome plus.

I have truly enjoyed THESE for our day-to-day feedings. These bottles are made of silicone and have a squishy texture to them. I use these when we're on-the-go because they're lightweight and I'm not afraid of them getting smashed in the diaper bag or shattered if I dropped one when we're out at a restaurant or something.

| SWINGS |

This one stays stationary to our bathroom because I like to use it when I'm in the shower or doing my makeup because I just lightly sway it with my foot while I'm gettin' done up!
 I didn't want to invest in electric seat-swayer because we have a Rock-n-Play that Merrick LOVES and well, my foot works just as good. Also, it can hold up to 130lbs so i don't worry about Penelope plopping herself in it when it isn't occupied.

This seat is utter-amazingness. THIS ONE has wifi-connectability and allows you to change the settings on your phone. Now granted, I haven't really had to use that feature just yet because he's always within eyesight and an arms-length from me but it's something that I can definitely tell I'll use as he gets older! Besides that feature, it has the option to rock by itself! This is amazing and has really helped me out these last few weeks while I'm doing other things around the house because I don't have to be hands-on rocking all of the time! It also vibrates, plays music, has soundscapes, and a little light-show that projects on the visor, which also doubles for well-lit areas of our house, like the living room, where Merrick often sleeps and it allows some shade from the bright light coming from the windows. THIS is a definite must-have, mamas - Plus, it's amazing for babies with acid reflux because of the natural incline!

I use this as a stationary option in our living room because the typical swing just wasn't working out. Merrick REALLY loves back and forth motion rather than side-to-side so we bought this over the MamaRoo and so far, he loves it! You can get it HERE for pretty inexpensive and the shipping is super fast!


| BABY WEARING |

 For me, baby-wearing is a MUST. Penelope absolutely HATED being swaddled or worn so it wasn't an option with her but Merrick loves it and it allows me to grocery shop, do laundry - you know, everyday things that require two hands.
I think all wraps and slings are made the same and provide the same function - you just get to find a shop that carries a print and price that suits you and THIS one is really similar to the one I bought and it's a lot cheaper!




xx,
tbp
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Monday, June 12, 2017

HOW TO: DIY GEL MANICURE | beauty


I've been doing my own nails for yearsssss and every now and then, I like to hit the salon and get my nails done - preferably SNS dip nails but since having Merrick, I haven't been able to get my nails done as often as I truly need (or like) so I've been getting back into doing my own gel manicures. It's not as hard or as expensive (definitely way less than getting them professionally done!) as one might think, so whenever I can talk anyone into taking the time, they always end up loving it because it's truly a huge convenience because you can save time AND dollars.
If you're starting from scratch, your total for all of the essentials listed will cost around $75 - Pretty much what I pay/paid for a mani/pedi weekly - ekkk!



To start doing your own gel nails, especially if you don't have anything to start with, there are a couple options.

One: You can buy your own starter kit
like this one $90
OR
Two: You can piece out each item and get a custom "set", which is what I prefer.
Why do I prefer piecing out each item over buying a set? Because I definitely feel like I've tried every gel on the market, whether it be at a salon or by buying it myself and I feel like I've FINALLY found the magic combo in order to get that legit "two-week" manicure that really lasts🙌🏼

So speaking of two weeks; do gel nails REALLY last that long?? With the setup I list below, YES, they can. However, there are a few factors to take into consideration before totally expecting a full 14+ days of wear; like how gentle or rough you are with your hands. Are you playing sports, washing dishes, typing on a keyboard? All of these things can play a role in how long you can expect your manicure to last but the good news is, even if you do fall into the more "rough" side, your mani can still still last about a week, and personally, I think that's still a long time to have any one color on your nails regardless!
BUT in order to ensure you actually make it that far, you HAVE to make sure you follow each step below CAREFULLY. If you touch anything, even running your hands through your hair after you've buffed your nails and applied the pH bond, then that can drastically reduce your wear-time with the gels because even the smallest amount of oil on the nail bed can really make a huge difference in wear time.

I personally never wear gels for more than about 9 days because my nails grow so fast, I end up taking the gel off before they even have time to chip etc. So would I want to wear them for a full two weeks? Not really. But that's up to you and and personal preference at that point.

THE ESSENTIALS:



EXTRAS:



STEPS:

Start at Step 1 if you already have gel polish on -
▴ Start at Step 5 if you don't have gel polish to remove first and
▴ Start at Step 8 if you don't want to start with a manicure ▴

One ▴ Buff off the shiny top layer of gel, until polish is matte
Two ▴ Soak cotton ball in acetone polish remover
Three ▴ Place a small, acetone soaked piece of cotton on top of nail
and then use use the nail clip to hold the cotton in place for aprox 7-10 minutes
Four ▴Take off the nail clips and use the cuticle pusher to remove gel by gently
scraping the surface of the nail.
Five ▴ Once gel is completely removed,
Soak fingers in warm water for about a minute and then gently push back cuticles
Six ▴ Use cuticle cutter to carefully cut cuticles.
P l e a s e go slow if you've never clipped your own cuticles before - it can go wrong fast
Seven ▴ Once cuticles have been trimmed, Buff nail bed with fine-textured buffer
Eight ▴ Apply pH Bond to nails - let dry.
Nine ▴ Then evenly apply base coat of gel; a thin layer is best!
Then cure in LED light for aprox 45 seconds
Ten ▴ THINLY apply first layer of colored gel. REMEMBER: THIN LAYERS! At first, it will be streaky and sheer - that's okay! You don't want to apply with a heavy hand because it won't set right and could ripple/drip.
Cure for aprox 45 seconds with each coat
2-3 coats total is usually best
Eleven ▴ Once desired nail color is reached, most likely by layer two, thinly apply top coat.
Cure for one minute.

You're done!

If your top layer comes out feeling sticky, just wipe the nail with rubbing alcohol to remove all tackiness.

If you do your own gel nails, let me know how they turn out - I'd love to hear about it! XO

xx,
tbp



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Saturday, May 27, 2017

SATURDAY OUTFITS | fashion

Happy Memorial day weekend, y'all!

    I wore this outfit last night before we waded through the mud at the Strawberry Festival so P could win about 20 stuffed animals before we were allowed to leave😂 I had to break out my Hunters because it was a total mud-pit but if it was nice, I seriously could have worn them because they are SO comfortable and easy to walk in. I ordered these platform slides in yellow too (they come in taupe, black, white + yellow) but I've heard that those are a little harder to stretch, so we'll see. So far, these black ones seem to break in quickly, although they were a little tight at first. They do run true-to-size and are the perfect slides for the beach or pool🙌🏼






Secondly, I swear I had at LEAST 12 people ask me where I got my moto-jeggings from the last time I posted a picture with them so I listed that too. I feel that they run a little small, which works out because if you normally wear a small, like me, then you should definitely be able to wear a medium and good news, that's what's in stock! But if they sell out, which is possible because they're sold by a boutique, be sure to sign up for the email alert so you'll know when your size is back in stock!

Have a good and SAFE weekend, guys!!

xx,
tbp


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Monday, May 22, 2017

FLORAL MAXI | fashion






So naturally, I have one sister by blood but in 40 days, I'll have another sister through marriage💛 My brother-in-law is marrying his high school sweetheart and we couldn't be happier for them - it's about damn time! Mary is the most amazing aunt to our two kids and definitely one f the sweetest people I've ever met - her love for her family (and ours) is beyond measure and I think I'm counting down the days to their wedding just as frantically as they are HA. 
I love wedding season and seeing two people who fell in love join together and make that lifelong commitment towards each other... it's magical and definitely an event I'm sure to cry at without fail every. single. time.

But before the wedding, I've been getting outfits together for the bachelorette party in Charleston! My brother and his family live down in SC so I've been to the area a few times and have seriously fallen in love with the place! Mary's bridesmaids have taken the reigns and definitely made sure it'll be a weekend to remember but it wouldn't hurt to know the MUST-DO things if you live down there or have been there and done something unforgettable! We're open to hearing it allllll.

So about the clothes...!!
It's definitely going to be warm and (hopefully!) full of sun so I've planned on wearing nothing but dresses and rompers because of course, comfy is top priority while lounging in the sun etc. I'll do a separate post on all of the other pieces but I really wanted to focus on this amazing Floral maxi number from Shop Pink Blush! Unfortunately, this exact one is currently sold out BUT I'm going to link similar ones - they're the same dresses but just solid colors:
and make sure you use the code: SHOPNSAVE for 20% off!!

I was immediately drawn to the OFTS flutter-top of this dress and the light blue detail among the flowers. Now, when I actually got the piece in my hand, that was an entirely different story because I couldn't believe how amazing the quality was! This is not an ill-feeling dress by any means.. it's heavy and the quality is definitely there. I also loved the fact that the length was actually LONG. I'm not a tall person (only roughly 5'6) and it always seems like maxi dresses want to come off the ground about an inch and it drives me insane. If I'm shopping for a MAXI DRESS, it better sweep the floor.... and that might be just me, but that's why I think I love this dress even more because it actually touched the ground! I also think that this particular dress is maternity haha but ShopPinkBlush.com also has a wide-range of non-maternity clothes and they're known for their versatility among their maternity transforming to post-pregnancy outfits, so although I'm not exactly pre-pregnancy size yet, this dress is still so flattering!

xx,
tbp










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Friday, May 12, 2017

RAINY DAY LOUNGIN' | fashion + mom life

     Although it's 55 degrees here and I'm missing the sunshine, I also love a good rain day because I use these days to lounge and recharge my mom-batteries. Although mix in too many rainy days and we all get cabin-fever and,well, you know the rest. But I'm currently loving the inside time we're getting since we always seem to be on the go! Anyway...  I did have a doctors appointment early this morning that involved botox soooo I guess I'll have to update you guys on that experience soon! Right now, I can only say that it was totally painless and I can't wait to see my forehead lines disappear; hallelujah. I only had 8 units (hardly any at all) and I looooove who I had do it - she's experienced and totally knows wth she's doing.  PLUS it was super inexpensive. So if you guys want more info on all that, lemme know because I'd love to share everything with you guys! It takes about 2-3 days for the botox to take full-effect so next week I'll have a full update on the results! In the meantime, if you're looking for someone that can do filler/botox, call and set up your appointment with Leila at Pariser Dermatology - mention my name and you can get 10% off of your services! Just be aware that if you're going in for Juvederm (filler), they'll have to set up a different appointment after your initial consultation because they have to specially order your syringe and the amount you'll need -
but as far as botox goes, you can get that on the spot!
Pariser Dermatology located in Newport News (757) 622-6315

Here are all of the details on my most recent IG pic, for those of you without LIKEtoKNOW.it ::







xx,
tbp
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