Thursday, May 12, 2011

Preparing for baby…


This is NOT the “I’m pregnant!” announcement.  In fact, that announcement is at least a year or two away, or that’s the plan… (Sometimes we plan and God winks, so who knows what His plan really is for us.)

This post is REALLY about my struggle with preparing my body for pregnancy and motherhood.  I am currently extremely out of shape and overweight.  It never affected my everyday life until recently- I’ve always been a “bigger” girl, but it never bothered me.  Lately, though, I have gained even more weight and lost a lot of energy.  Right now my weight only bother me; when I’m pregnant, my weight will become a problem for my baby. 

So I really need to work on losing a good bit of weight within the next year or two.  But where do I even start?  I have always been an emotional eater and, with financial stresses lately, I feel like I’ve been eating even more. 

Give me some suggestions on how to start losing weight and getting myself in shape and ready for baby!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Favorite Things- Beauty Edition

If you follow me on Twitter, you have seen me singing praise choruses to Neutrogena products.  I just can’t help it- I LOVE Neutrogena’s stuff!  I have found most of it to be such good quality and so effective.

My very favorite thing is the whole wide world (besides hubs) is…

I talk about this stuff ALL the time.  I can’t say enough!  Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer has changed my skin and changed my life.  Before I discovered this, I used foundation and concealer almost daily.  I found that my skin was breaking out more and more, which made me use more and more cover-up.  I finally got so sick of it that I stopped using it altogether.  I went without it for a while, then discovered this miracle.  It provides just enough color to even out my skin tone, but also hydrates me and evens out any lines I might have (which is the benefit of the Retinol treatment in it). 


I started using Cover Girl’s TRUBlend Minerals Loose Powder when my skin cleared up years ago.  I haven’t used another powder since.  It covers cleanly and evenly.  It adds a little bit of a glow to my skin and makes me look so fresh and dewy!

I have used Neutrogena Healthy Skin Blends blush/ bronzer in a couple of different shades.  During the summer, I wear “Healthy,” which is a bronzer.  During the winter, I use “Pure.”  It gives my cheeks a rosy glow, without being too heavy.

When I graduated from high school- now SIX years ago, I bought the Bare Minerals basic kit, with foundation, Mineral Veil, Warmth, and this brush.  I moved past the make-up, but have never stopped using this brush.  I wash it at least once a month and it has lasted so well!  It is soft, provides great coverage, and so well-made. 

I almost exclusively use Maybelline mascara.  For the longest time, I used The Falsies because it gave me tons of length and definition.  Lately, though, it started being less effective.  So this weekend, I switched to One on One and really like it so far.  It washes off easily and doesn’t clump.  The length isn’t quite what I want but I think it works really well.

There you have it, my favorite beauty tools!  I have simplified my make-up regimen over the years because I think I look best with minimal make-up.  These products are what keeps me looking healthy and young!

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Monday, May 9, 2011

My Favorite Things- Good Skin Edition

Always a contradiction, I am a huge product junkie, but I am also extremely cheap.  My budget (and common sense) requires me to bargain shop, coupon, and skimp where I can in order to purchase the things I need to be beautiful.  Because of that, I use exclusively “drugstore” products.

I have hereditarily bad skin.  My teenage and early adult years were plagued with a horrible complexion, many dermatologist visits, medicine galore, and, finally, a round of Accutane (which is a seriously intense acne medication, requiring blood tests, birth control, etc etc).  FINALLY, after hundreds of dollars and a lot of heartache, my skin was clear!  Hallelujah!  My complexion completely changed and was perfect.  Years later, however, I found myself breaking out a little bit more.  I tried Proactiv again, which was a waste of money.  THEN I started using Neutrogena’s Complete Acne Therapy System about a month before my wedding.

This stuff is amazing!  It is truly a complete system, which uses both Salicylic Acid AND Benzoyl Peroxide to combat both acne and blackheads.  I was so pleased with this system- until they stopped selling it everywhere!  I think it can still be found online, but not in any stores near me.

So I set out to find my own similar products that would work the same way as the complete system.

Some people’s skin might be too sensitive to use a scrub every day, but I have found this to be the best thing for me.  I use Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash Daily Scrub twice a day.  I am very careful to wash off all make-up before bed, so that my breakout-prone-skin won’t have any extra stuff clogging it.

I use this religiously in the mornings.  It hydrates my skin and keeps me from breaking out during the day (which, apparently, is a huge problem for me.  I can have perfectly clear skin in the morning and three or four new zits when I go to bed.)

I use this stuff religiously at night.  It is fairly strong and can have the tendency to dry out my skin.  If I feel like my skin gets a little dry, I just skip it for a night and everything is back to normal.

All of these products work together to keep my skin looking fresh, smooth, and clear- thank GOD!  After years and years of horrible skin, I feel like I finally have the clear, beautiful skin I always wanted.

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PS Stay tuned for My Favorite Things- the Make-Up edition, in which I will reveal the LIFE-CHANGING make-up secret that has drastically changed my skin!