Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer Favorites 2015

Earth Therapeutics Loofah Exfoliating Scrub: Oatmeal and Honey///Jergen's Natural Glow///Victoria's Secret Fragrance Mist:Surfside///The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter///Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara///Anastasia Brow Wiz: Medium 
Brown

The humid heat is upon us in the Midwest, and the sunshine is streaming down on us sweaty betties everyday! Yes, summer is here and I have another list of happy and pretty things that I've decided are my faves this season. We still have a ways to go before Fall comes( ugh, just writing the word " Fall " gives me a shudder. I am so not ready for cold weather yet! ) but I know that I will be using these products even after the heat leaves us. Let's get to it, shall we?

Earth Therapeutics Loofah Exfoliating Scrub: I love this body scrub! I got mine at TJ Maxx, but I'm pretty sure that you can get it at ULTA, or even your local CVS! Pretty affordable, and best part, it smells soooo delicious. I rub this all over in the shower before I know I will be shaving or putting on tanning lotion. The oatmeal softens the skin and the honey just smells amazing. If you're looking for a nice body scrub, that isn't ridiculously overpriced, and smells like magic, don't hesitate and seek this one out!

Jergen's Natural Glow Moisturizer: I'm pretty sure I have talked about this gradual tanning lotion before on here, and that's because I've used this baby for years! It's the best one I've found for my super pale skin, and I feel like anything tanner than a natural glow on me looks kind of crazy. This lotion gives me a nice subtle color, and as long as I exfoliate before I put it on, it goes on smoothly and evenly. It dries fairly quick, and it also used to have a rather off putting smell, but they have since improved it, and it's not as strong as it was before. Definitely a good buy for you paler girls who don't want to look like you've turned into an Oompa Loompa overnight.

Victoria's Secret Fragrance Mist in Surfside: Back in junior high, I was all about the VS Perfume! And it turns out, after a slight hiatus from them, I still love them! This one is the fragrance of passion fruit and driftwood, but uhhh, you know I don't really smell driftwood in this, haha. It smells a lot like apples to me, and it also sort of smells like a sea salt spray I have and that I used while on my honeymoon, so it reminds me of Cancun. This fragrance just makes me feel sexy, and it takes me to a place in my mind that I can imagine I'm lounging on a beach...Perfect for summer.

The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter: OMG, this highlighter is so awesome! It gives a very pearl-y finish to my skin, without making me look oily. It has the consistency of a moisturizer or BB Cream, which I like because I usually have dry skin, and you can either tap it on under your foundation or over it. It will shine through either way. Sometimes I put this on by itself, and I still feel like I have a full face on. It just brightens it so much!

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara: I totally got sucked into buying this from hearing basically every beauty vlogger talk about how awesome it was. Aaaand they were right! I would say the brush is what is best about this product. It separates my lashes perfectly and adds a lot of length as well. At around $20 it's not the most budget friendly, but if you want a mascara that lengthens your lashes, and curls them even without using an eyelash curler first( this is a big YAASSS for me ), I would say this is worth the money. Yet again, Benefit produces another great mascara!

Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Brown: I've used many brow pencils, trying to figure out how to make my sparse brows look as natural as possible, and a lot of the drugstore options have failed me. So, I knew that from how many people swear by this product, I would inevitably end up trying this in my quest for great looking eyebrows. IT'S THE BEST GUYS. Like, for realz. It doesn't smudge at all( which is great during the summer heat ), it matches the color of my brows perfectly, and the tiny applicator is wonderful for creating natural strokes that look like your regular brow hairs, so it looks amazingly natural. It was $21 at Sephora, and worth every penny. I don't see myself looking anymore for another brow product. BOOM.

I hope this inspires you guys to try something new in your daily summer routine! What are some plans you guys have for summer? Going anywhere tropical? If so, I am super jealous!


~Grace Abigail

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Little Link at 2 Months!



Hello everyone, I hope you have all been enjoying your summer thus far! My summer has been a pretty lazy one. Most of my days have been spent indoors, with my little guy attached to me at all times! My little man Link is a very clingy one, if I do say so myself. If you set him down for just 5 minutes, you bet your butt he is wanting to be held after those precious 5 minutes. 
I must say, even though sometimes this motherhood thing is exhausting, and I can rarely get much done besides one tiny thing at a time, it's been nice to slow my life down a little these past few months. These moments where I can just stare at the sweetness that I have created, caress his little toes, give him many sweet kisses on his chubby cheeks, I know it won't last forever...so I try to cherish every late night feed where he just doesn't seem to want to ever let go of me....

" Oh, my heart! "

One of our late evening walks. I love that we are close to a beautiful park.

My man looking all fatherly and such.

That face! Gah!

Since Link will be officially 2 months on July 8th, I thought I would give you guys a little update on how he's been developing! He is a very " active " baby. Meaning that he likes to be bounced and he likes to be moved around in different positions throughout the day. It really is an arm workout! I'm coming to the realization that probably means he will be a very active kid when he gets older. He's always kicking his feet and moving his head around, surveying his little world. He can hold his head up by himself now, and he can also stand himself up with his strong legs( as long as I'm holding his arms, of course, he's not THAT strong haha ). He is incredibly smiley in the morning, and always reacts with a huge grin when I'm singing a good morning song to him on the changing table. I can't wait for that first little giggle. I can tell he's trying to make more laughing noises!
At his 2 month checkup he will be getting all of his immunizations, and I gotta say, I'm developing a little anxiety over it. I can only assume that pretty much every new Mom has a little freakout when they envision someone poking their sweet child with a needle, but hey, I just gotta keep telling myself that it is good for him, and that it will be over before I know it. I'm looking forward to all the cuddles that will probably ensue after that checkup! 

My dear husband Kyle has started his training for his management position in Lafayette, IN. I'm so proud of him that he's doing so well and learning a lot while he's there, but it sure is hard to not see him everyday. Of course, I send him many snapchats during the day of our little man so he can keep up to date on him. I don't want him to miss anything! It has been hard sometimes, especially during the night when I am up by myself feeding him, but I don't get too lonely. I have lots of family members who have been so generous, helping me whenever I need it. I don't know where my head would be at if I didn't have them :).

In two weeks, I will be heading back to work part-time instead of full-time. Eeep! I am just a tad nervous! Or maybe you know...more than just a tad. Just the thought of going back to an adult world for a few hours a day, is exciting! You mean I get to talk to grown ups about grown up things?!...But the challenge of putting on makeup and you know clothes everyday...that in itself will be hard to get used to haha. But I am happy to go back. This Mama has been cooped up too long!

Thanks for reading everyone!


~Grace Abigail

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Change


These moments were too cute not to snap. 

Now that my husband and I have welcomed in this little life we created together, we have to learn to maneuver through this new HUGE change. The twists and turns that child rearing take you on, it's very dizzying. For the past couple weeks, I've hardly eaten much myself, showered hardly ever, gone on a roller coaster of bedtimes and weird sleeping patterns that no sane human would ever do on purpose, and my body no longer looks the same as it once did. These are all things that I knew would happen, but when you are in the thick of it, with your droopy eyelids and when you're wondering if you actually ate something today...this sudden big life change can become a bit overwhelming. Rewarding yes, but still a big scary change.

My husband is starting a new job this week. A " big boy job " if you will, with insurance and everything. He is going through the change of a young man's life, with relatively not a lot of responsibilities, to big time responsibilities. I am insanely proud of him, that he's decided to take on the role of sole provider and there is no doubt in my mind that he will thrive and be able to handle whatever scary situations he gets into. However, his training for the next few months will take him out of town, leaving me and little Link to ourselves for a bit. This change is going to be an especially hard one.

When I think back to five years ago, when Kyle and I were young little 21 year olds, not knowing what was in store for our lives, just learning about each other and what we wanted for our futures, seperately, and then coming together as we learned that we wanted to be together forever...it kind of baffles me...

Yes, we've gone through so much together. All the happy parties we've danced at together, all of the many health scares we've held each other's hands tightly through, we've gone on horribly aggravating and equally awesome trips together, made big life goals, had our share of disagreements and hardships, and now we have a whole new adventure to go on together, parenting. An adventure that we are both so excited about and that we've wanted ever since we were dating. But when I think back on all that we've done together, how we've grown up beside each other, the no-brainer changes and the hard changes we've experienced, it makes me so proud of us.

We all know that change can be hard, and scary. But it's so rewarding and exciting when you have someone by your side who you know you can ride the changes with, and come out on top.


~Grace Abigail

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Welcome Little Lincoln!

Pure bliss.

He's here! We've finally met the little poker and prodder that has been squirming around in my tummy! It was such a great experience, and I couldn't be happier. Welcome to the world, my little chunk!


Lincoln James was born on May 8th( also my Mom's birthday! haha ), at 10:17AM coming in at 7 lbs and 14 oz! He's such a perfect little man, and it was such a relief to finally see his sweet little face. 

Going through labor was kind of an out of body experience, if you will. The whole time I was just kind of baffled it was happening, that we were finally at the end of this long journey, so when he finally made his entrance, looking at him for the first time was just...idk. Amazing and life changing just doesn't explain the feelings I had. 

He's been in our lives for little over a week now, and it's been an interesting time lol. Having never really handled a newborn before, I was a little doubtful of my abilities to take care of this little human, but guys, mothers instinct is no joke. I kind of just dove in. Knowing that this little guy needed me, for food, for nurturing, for love and comfort, there was no hesitation. He's mine and every time I pick him up, whether it's sleepily in the middle of the night or happily rested during the day, I love how he looks at me like he trusts me so much already. In his eyes I see the reassurance I need to take care of him...

Motherhood is awesome. For this short week that he's been in my life, I've realized that motherhood is definitely challenging, and demanding, fiercely terrifying at times, and sometimes very overwhelming, but as soon as he looks at me, it's worth it. All of it.

Now it's all about learning how to breastfeed, pumping, sleeping schedules, dirty diapers, cute little clothes to wear and wash wash wash, and of course so many pictures taken and chubby cheek kisses given.


And if I may say one more thing....just get the drugs lol.


~Grace Abigail

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Links of Awesome #13

Time for another link fest! Hope this post gives you some fun stuff to ponder and obsess over this happy weekend!
Oh lord, have mercy. This clutch is divine.


Um yeah. I feel like this could be my main t-shirt in the next few months. source

I love this nursery decoration. I love the idea of having natural materials displayed in my home...

I'm sure you guys have seen this dress all over Pinterest. I know I have! It's just so perfect! source

MY GOD I NEED THIS! I can't find where it's actually for sale though! Drat!


- I recently found this webcomic, and it's absolutely dreamy! Such an interesting fantasy story unfolding...

- Recently, I used this easy BBQ Chicken crockpot recipe, and it was hella good!

- Not sure what my figure is going to be like this summer, but Target has shown me a lot of cute one piece swimsuits as of late! I especially like this one.

- I always love finding new daily vlog channels to follow! This adorable family has become one of favorites! 

- This post just makes me wanna dye my hair pink even more. I figure I have at least a month and a half before I go back to work. That's a lot of time to experiment!

- Should I, or should I not, get this temporary tattoo? Everything in that shop is just so cute!

- I also wanted to mention this subscription box I've recently been getting. It's a snack box from graze.com, and it's basically awesome. This company delivers healthy and indulgent little snacks to your home or work. You can go on their website and browse through their different snacks and basically give them an idea of what you usually like to snack on, and they send you an assortment that is oh so delicious! You can choose to pay for a box every week or every month, whatever you like! I have loved basically every single one of them they have sent me so far. YAY for snacks!


~Grace Abigail

Friday, May 1, 2015

40 Weeks and 2 Days

Gotta love that not-so-little bump!

Hello dear friends! As you can see from that lovely picture( and the obvious title up there ), I am overdue for little Lincoln to arrive. Only a few days, but I'm sure any lady out there who has been pregnant before, one day over your due date is one day too many! Haha. I feel very large and unnaturally stretched haha, however, this week was my first full week I took of maternity leave, and therefore, I am sooooo much more relaxed then I ever was throughout this whole pregnancy. 
The weeks leading up to me being on maternity leave, I'm sure I wasn't much help to anyone lol. I was cranky, getting up to pee ALL DA TIME, and I would just get so tired at the end of my shifts that I'm sure I wasn't very much fun to be around. Now that I've been home, I've had time to organize my house, do the many loads of laundry that were piling up, plan meals, and spend some really good quality time with Kyle. 
Working 40 hours a week while super pregnant was not the most ideal thing, but I feel super blessed that Link has been so low maintenance that he allowed me to able to earn the extra income before my 6 to 8 week leave. And, I just have to mention as well that my coworkers were all so supportive and understanding while I was being a cranky-pants. I really do miss them! 

Pregnancy glamour shot. Oh la la!

I had a doctor's appointment on my due date this past Wednesday, and my little man was doing fine. I've only had a few cramps and sharp pains the past couple days, but they have not been consistent and have gone away after I have moved around a little. Currently, I am trying not to freak out and get too impatient, because honestly, I'm really not that uncomfortable. I always expected to go past my due date anyway( just to prevent myself from getting unnecessarily grouchy ) and I think it's kind of cool that my little man's birthday will be around the same day as my Mom's birthday, International Star Wars Day( May the fourth be with you hehe ) and Cinco De Mayo( I do love me some tacos ).

Right now, I'm reading up on labor pains, on breastfeeding, and kind of obsessively watching birthing videos on YouTube everyday. I'm not sure if this actually helps my labor anxiety...but it sure is fascinating to watch, knowing that I will go through something similar soon. Just watching some of these women laboring and being so strong while enduring extreme pain, it gives me confidence that I can do it too...

It's all couch, Netflix, ice cream, prepping my hospital bag, and taking as many walks as I can muster allll daaaay looong, friends! I'm determined to walk this little bud out! The late night walks that my husband and I have been doing have really calmed my mind and our long talks have really centered and secured us for this new time in our lives.

For the first time in weeks, I can honestly say yes to the annoying question that everyone asked me!


" Are you excited?! "


Hell yeah. Let's pop this sucker out!



~Grace Abigail

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Special Mornings

My morning view. Crumpled blankets and all.

I found myself in bed this morning...at 5:45AM...completely awake. Now I only just went to bed at midnight last night, so I was very surprised to be awake! I've heard that the last couple weeks of pregnancy are hard on your sleep pattern, and I totally get it. There's so much to think about, to worry about getting, and of course whenever I'm at my sleepiest and my body is super relaxed, Lincoln always seems to be wide awake.
So, there I was laying in the darkness next to my sleeping husband, and the little guy was rolling and poking around in there. How can one sleep when every movement your child makes inside of you is the start to the question, " What is he doing in there? What is he thinking? Is that a foot or a hand? I wonder what he will be like...? " And then your mind is truly, fully awake and there is no chance of you falling back asleep....

By this time it was around 6:50AM...Much, much earlier than I usually start my day, and every inch of me wanted to really fall back asleep, but I knew it wasn't happening. So, I lifted( or grunted and rolled ) my pregnant belly out of my comfy bed and started my day. I perused around every social media site, made myself coffee, cuddled my cats, pinned way too many cute coffee mugs on Pinterest, ate a bagel...All the while being super quiet as not to wake Kyle, who will be waking up for work any minute...All in all, a very normal and calm Sunday morning.

These mornings are special. Special in the way you realize that, life won't always be this simple and calm. Some days I'm sure my " morning " will start at 3AM, and I'll be up every hour feeding my little guy for what seems like forever and my eyes will be so tired and itchy. I'll feel totally dead. Or, my baby will be sick and I'll be so worried I won't even think about falling asleep. Or, when he's bigger, I'll shoot up out of bed cuz we're late to get ready for school and I have to get him up, and he'll whine( because DUH who wants to wake up for school? )and I'll have to make him lunch and drive him there and then start my day off doing God knows what....

But that's all in the future. It is the close future, no doubt. But for now, I will enjoy my quiet cup of solitude, cuddle my ear up to the soothing purrrrrs of my cat, cup my belly as my growing baby pokes and prods me, and I will gather my thoughts enough to write a blog post.


~Grace Abigail

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Baby Shower for Lincoln!

Can I just take a moment to say I am 33 weeks pregnant and freaking out a little? Okay cool, glad I could do that here...

Last weekend was our baby shower for little Lincoln, and boy was it fun! Having not attended a baby shower in probably over 10 years...I was a little nervous as to what to do. But luckily, I have an amazing best friend and sister who basically planned everything for me. Which is for the best honestly, because I, for the life of me, cannot stay on one thought if I tried nowadays! I know that if I were to try and plan a party right now, it would be in shambles before I even started. Preggo brain is running rampant right now, and I am such a mess of emotions...but on to happier things!

The main colors were bright blues, greens, and oranges, since I didn't want the traditional baby blue decorations, because something about baby blue just makes me want to cringe...it made the room look very happy and fun :) We also had an ice cream bar, where everyone could make their own bowl of ice cream with any topping they wanted! This was my idea, since I am in love with anything sweet and cold right now...

Here we are, looking totally not overwhelmed at all...


Some of the fun things from the shower! My friend Skye printed out a little tree and everyone who came put their fingerprint on the branches! Also, I had set up a onesie decorating station( my friend Skye created this one lol ) and then the actual shower invite that Skye found! Eeep! So freaking precious. If I'm feeling real crafty one day I might put all of this stuff in a memory shadow box. But that's for when I have a clearer mind...which might be never...Hmmm...


My awesomely talented MIL made the cake for the shower! She's great at cake decorating, and I thought this design was so freaking cute! In case you can't tell, that's a little foot poking out on the stomach, hah!

We got so many diapers and clothes and blankets, it was insane. The people at my work even got us a crib and a mattress to go with it! Which was a total surprise to me, since I had not put one on our registry. I was so overwhelmed by the amount of love and support for us in that little room, it was very emotional. Just knowing that so many people are excited for us to be parents soon, it's such a blessing...
And I want to sincerely thank my friend Skye, my sister Claire, and my Mumsy for getting supplies for games, setting up tables and chairs, and just taking time out of their busy schedules to help me be prepared for what's to come. So much love!

Now that the happy dust of the recent festivities has settled, I'm on a mission to find out a way to organize and sort through everything. Let's just call it diaper Jenga, cuz that's what it's turning out to look like when I try to store things in the corners of our tiny apartment...LET THE NESTING PHASE BEGIN!


~Grace Abigail

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks

I can't believe I'm at 30 weeks! It seems like this pregnancy has just flown by! I was just looking at a picture of myself at 16 weeks, and how big I felt then...but looking at myself now...there is such a huge difference. I've really popped out!

Artsy photo credit to me. Aw yeah.

It's strange, but now that I'm at my hugest with a little over 20 lbs of weight gain, I feel the most beautiful. Just knowing that I have a little guy growing inside of me, it empowers me so much as a woman. Feeling him move and respond to my pokes and prods, it's always so mesmerizing, I can never truly believe that I have a little human in there. Depending on me and already making me feel like a real Mom. 

Mom. Wow, it's such a weighted word, a scary word to think of yourself as, when you are uncertain of what kind of Mom you will be...but I'm so excited for my new role...

We have started our childbirth preparation classes! I have to say, I was really kind of dreading them, but the instructor is very informative, and she also brings humor to what we are talking about, which really puts me at ease. The breathing techniques are a little hard to get used to, but practicing is never a bad idea. And I was kind of embarrassed about how little I knew about the human body when she did a little anatomy lesson the first week, and just the whole process of giving birth. It really is fascinating to know how my body helps me on the inside during labor. Like it's not all up to me pushing and working, my baby is too, and so are my insides haha. That puts me more at ease as well, knowing that as long as I focus on breathing and doing my part, my body can help me with the rest...

Little Lincoln is about the size of a butternut squash right now, and he is very active still. He is most active at night when I relax. One night I could feel his feet/arms moving across my stomach, and we were able to poke back and forth with each other! It was so cool! The leg cramps/tired nights/back ache/acid reflux has been going full force the last week...but there's really no reason to be overly dramatic about it. I knew it would happen sometime. Just maybe not like, every night? Cool?

Knowing I only have 10 weeks left is a little( a lot )scary, but I'm just trying to focus on doing and eating what's best for my baby.

Thanks again for coming along on this journey with me. Only a few more weeks until I can plaster his sweet little face all over every media outlet available to me lol

~Grace Abigail

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The 10 Minute Morning Makeup Dash

I know we've all had those lazy mornings where we linger a little too long in bed, we wait until the last possible annoying snooze goes off, and then begrudgingly drag our tired booties out of bed, only to come to the realization that, Crap, I have no time to get ready!

Well, this has recently been me on most mornings. Well, almost every morning...I just don't like waking up, okay? My bed is just too comfy. I've never been much of a bright eyed and bushy tailed person, and because of this, I think I really have perfected my 10 minute makeup dash. After I've taken my quick shower and thrown my hair into a messy bun, these are the products and the routine that helps me get out the door that much faster!

Maybelline Baby Skin/ Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream/ Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Fair/ Real Techniques Blush Brush/ Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium/ L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara/ Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso/ NYC Eye Shadow Trio in Central Park Plums/ Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Honey

Here's my team! I usually start with the base fo' my face, y'all. After I slather on some moisturizer, I apply some Baby Skin primer. This product is supposed to be used to blur pores, but honestly, my skin has been so dry lately, this little guy really smooths and primes hehe my face for whatever foundation/BB cream, so that when I do apply that, the product doesn't get stuck on my dry patches. I really like the Maybelline BB Cream! It matches nicely with my regular skin tone, so I don't have to do a lot of blending, because I only have about 8 minutes left here! Next, I apply this Fit Me Concealer in a triangle shape underneath my eyes, and blend it in with my middle fingers. This concealer is super creamy as well, so it doesn't get cakey, and adds that extra moisture I really need in this dry cold weather.

After my face is done, I move on to my blush. This peachy/coral Milani Baked Blush is so highlighting and adds that extra brightness so I look refreshed and heavenly like, when in reality, I'm super grumpy still. I just wanted to add in that I have been using this Real Techniques brush as well! It's so soft and really blends out my blushes, instead of making them look splotchy! After my cheeks are done, I do a couple swipes of the Benefit Gimme Brow. The little fibers in the brush really add some extra drama to my brows, and I honestly think that filling in my brows makes me look like I actually tried in the morning, but really, it's not that hard to even do! It literally takes maybe 1 minute to do both brows with this thing. 

When I'm really feeling like I need some extra shimmer on the lids, I apply the pink shade in the NYC trio palette on my inner corners and brow bone, and then I add the middle taupe/brown color to my crease and blend that out. Just to add some depth to my lids. After my eyes are done, and I've curled my lashes, I apply a few layers on the L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara. This stuff is awesome! It really grabs every lash and separates them to bulk them up.

And then...if I have any time left, my favorite lip product right now has to be the Revlon Balm Stain in Honey. It's just a nice plumy/pinky balm that you can add a few layers to, so it will be more dramatic, or just one layer can be enough to give you an extra bit of color in the morning. Love, love, love!

...And then you're done! Boom. Grab your coat, purse, shoes, snacks, and run out the door cuz you are ready to get it going, girl!

I wish you guys luck in all of your frantic morning, makeup dashes...now if I could only train myself to go to bed earlier, so I wouldn't have to rush in the morning... * sigh *


~Grace Abigail