Thursday, October 8, 2015

On not sweating the small stuff

Motherhood is hard guys.

We all have good and bad days, but when you're a mom, the bad days can seem like enormous failures. I didn't realize until recently that I put some pretty ridiculous expectations on myself and often set myself up for failure, and then I take it really hard when I don't have a "supermom" day. Being a stay at home mom is a rough job most of the time, and I'm constantly plagued by the whole not-doing-enough/doing-too-much internal war with myself. I often find myself stressed out, making insanely long to-do lists, and running around like a crazy person with all of these "things" I just have to finish before the end of the day.

Once I get an idea in my head though, I can't not follow through with it. If I made my list in the morning and decided that I was going to clean the kitchen spotless before the kids get home, by-golly, that kitchen had better be sparkling before my kiddos stroll in through the door. If it's not? Well, I tend to morph into Hulk-Smash mode and beat myself up over it- which makes my entire day shot. My mood goes to crap and I turn into a mean mom and wife who takes out her frustration on everyone else. No matter how much I accomplished earlier in the day- 3 loads of laundry, yard mowed, garden weeded, living room cleaned up, beds made, and both bathrooms scrubbed clean...if I don't get that last little task done on my list before the deadline I set for myself, the whole day was a waste. It's like everything else I did doesn't matter. I failed. I didn't do what I said I was going to do. I didn't finish my list.

The truth is, I don't have to do much of anything, if I don't want to. Sure, there are menial tasks that should be done on a regular basis around here- dishes, laundry, dusting (yeah right), vacuuming, etc. But is the world going to end if I don't get the dishwasher emptied by a certain time? Nope.

I've realized that I put too much pressure on myself as a stay at home mom, and I know a lot of my other mom friends do as well. We don't give ourselves enough credit, and we definitely don't celebrate those small accomplishments enough. Instead of being pissed off and disappointed at myself for not getting the dishwasher unloaded, I should be celebrating in the fact that I spent an hour on the floor with my sweet 14 month old girl, rolling around, playing blocks, laughing and singing along to Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger, helping her discover her stinky little toes, squishing her pudgy little rolls, and smothering her with kisses. Then I fed her lunch and every bite actually made it into her mouth- she didn't throw it on the ground (a really fun game we've been playing lately). After that, she went down for a nap with no argument and slept for 3 glorious hours while I sweat my butt off, hustling as fast as I could to clean up a mess of a house that was created by 5 humans.

That's right- 5 people live in this house, and I need to remember that. You can probably guess how many of them do the household chores (that would be me) all things considered, I really should give myself more credit! Throw blogging and everything that comes along with it, kids, a husband, homework, chores, errands, church, cooking, social lives, etc., and I realize that maybe I should cut myself some slack. Seriously, I should not be sweating the whole dishwasher/Hulk Smash fiasco. The dishes can wait! This little cutie can't. I should spend less time freaking out over my crazy lady lists and try to enjoy my time at home a little bit more.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Set Baby Free! {+ Amazon giveaway}

Ladies and long last, we finally have a walker!

Not that I'm excited for my littlest baby to be growing up, but I'm so proud of my Harper for finally figuring out the whole walking thing. She's about 14 1/2 months now, and as baby number three, she took the most time making the transition from all fours to two legs. I think maybe she was just taking her time and playing it safe- being cautious! I mean, walking is serious business, and her little world is full of all kinds of dangerous things for her to get into. Baby-proofing has been a must!

The number one thing on my list for baby-proofing the new house was a baby gate. If you have any kind of stairs in your house you must block them off completely, at least in the beginning. Stairs are a huge hazard, and it's best to just not even let baby have the opportunity to learn how to climb them. If you have older kids or pets, you'll have to make sure you get a gate that they can figure out too.
Another huge hazard is cords and outlets, and you might need to do some rearranging of furniture and move things with dangling cords to another room or area. You can buy those little outlet covers for really cheap at just about any store, so stock up and go through your entire house with them. You can also buy special outlet covers that can be used even when the outlet has cords plugged in to it

Locks or safety latches should be put on all cabinets, cupboards, and drawers that are a danger to baby, especially under the kitchen and bathroom sinks! Sometimes it's not even what's in the cupboard that matters though- just opening and closing the cupboard itself is a hazard because your baby can pinch their fingers.

Large pieces of furniture, like bookshelves, dressers, and armoires should be secured to the wall. You know those extra pieces of hardware that came with that new bookshelf you got? Yeah, now is the time to actually install them and secure that thing to the wall so baby doesn't climb up on it and tip it over.

While you're at it, check your furniture for sharp edges and corners that might need to be protected. I know my TV center and coffee table both have really sharp, square corners on them. I picked up some of those soft padded covers for corners and now I don't have to worry about Harper losing an eye on the coffee table anymore. 

Doors that are accessible to your baby should be secured somehow. In the beginning, simply closing the doors for the rooms you want to keep baby out of is good enough. But as they get older and learn how to open and close doors, you'll want to get some door knob covers and/or door stops. The door stops are great for your baby's bedroom door- maybe it's OK for her to go in there, but you'll want to keep her from closing the door on her little fingers.

Small toys should be completely banned from the main living/playing area for your baby. I have an 11 year old who is obsessed with LEGOs, but he's only allowed to play with them in his own room. Ditto for my 7 year old daughter's Barbies and the tiny Barbie shoes. I don't even let them bring their toys in the living room at all because it would be so easy for one little piece to get left on the floor and then I'd have to try to remember how to do the Heimlich Maneuver on a baby. No bueno. Keep the big kid toys in the big kid rooms!

Got hardwood floors in your baby's room or play area? Get some area rugs to help soften the fall when they inevitably trip, fall, and tumble across the hard floor. 

Vacuum...often! Seems pretty straightforward, but you don't realize how much stuff ends up on your floor until you've got a mobile baby who puts every crumb or piece of garbage they find in their mouth! Gross, plus it's a choking hazard.

Many thanks to Huggies for sponsoring today's post! New Huggies Little Movers Diapers have a Moving Baby System* for outstanding grip, fit, and wetness protection which absorbs on contact, so babies get the most out of every little move as they begin to kick, roll, crawl and walk. These Huggies diapers fit my little mover so well, even when she's on the go! Plus, she's so cute in them.

To facilitate your baby-proofing needs and or Huggies needs, I'm including a $20 Amazon giveaway!

Only the first entry is mandatory.

Do you have a little mover? You can share a picture of your cutie on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #SetBabyFree for a chance to be featured by Huggies!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Easy airbrush makeup with Luminess Air {review + promo code}

I'm dying over today's post, and am so excited to introduce a new brand to my blog: Luminess Air! I've always wanted to try airbrush foundation and at long last I got my chance. Airbrushing is definitely a different technique to applying your foundation, but I found that with Luminess Air, it is possible to achieve professional looking results at home- even if you're brand new to airbrushing. I had no previous experience and I've been loving my Luminess Air system. It's the #1 best selling airbrush in the world!

Benefits of airbrushing
  • Easy to use on the face and body.
  • Gives a delicate, flawless finish.
  • Dermatologist recommended.
  • Easily evens out skin tone and patchiness.
  • No more foundation lines- airbrushing allows for natural blending.
  • Exact skin tone match is easy.
  • Hygienic- never touches the face, unlike hands, sponges, and brushes.
  • Buildable coverage, from light to full.
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and fine lines.
  • Reduce the appearance of blemishes, age spots, redness, large pores, acne, and freckles.

Here's what came in my starter kit:

Airbrush compressor & stylus, AC adapter, instructional DVD, 2- .55oz bottles of foundation, plus primer,  blush, and skin brightening glow. 

Foundation- I chose the matte foundation because I have oily/combination skin. The matte foundation gives a powdery finish, giving medium to full coverage without appearing thick or cakey, and is perfect for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin. The Luminess Air matte foundation is oil-free, mineral based, hypoallergenic, and long lasting. I originally chose shades 3 & 4, but those were too dark. Shade 1 & 2 are perfect for me!

Primer/moisturizer .25oz- hydrates skin to prevent dryness and and softens skin while the priming action re-texturizes skin for a smooth, flawless canvas.

Blush .25oz- liquid airbrush pigment for a naturally soft, youthful looking glow.

Skin Brightening Glow .25oz- brings back luster to dull skin, and is perfect as a highlighter on the brow, cheekbones, and bridge of nose for a youthful glow.  

 How to use Luminess Air

The Luminess Air system is pretty easy to use, but it's the application technique that takes a little bit of practice to perfect. Here's how I used Luminess Air to achieve flawless results:

Shake your makeup. The airbrush foundation needs to be shaken for at least 5-10 seconds before each use to ensure even coverage and to avoid any separation of the product.

Turn on the system. Simply plug in the Luminess Air system and power it on by pressing the on/off button. At this time, air will start flowing out of the tip of the stylus, but no makeup will be dispensed until the throttle (or trigger, as I call it) is pulled back. Get a feel for the flow of air, and practice going around your face in small, circular motions, staying about 6-8 inches away from the face. Practice pulling the throttle back lightly, only doing so about halfway. You never want to pull it back all the way, except for when cleaning  your stylus. Important tip: keep your hand moving! If you stay in one area for too long, you'll end up with a cakey, splotchy-looking application.

Dispense the product into the stylus. Once you've gotten a feel for the air flow and the hand motion, dispense a few drops of makeup into the stylus cup. The instructions say 4-8 drops, but I use more like 10-15. Remember, we're going for buildable coverage, and I tend to lean more towards medium to full. If you want less, start with only a few drops.

Apply to the face. Remember to keep the stylus level, so as to not dump out any makeup from the stylus cup. Hold it like a pen and keep your wrist loose, while gently pulling back on the throttle. You'll feel a cool mist, which means the product is coming out, so keep your hand moving. Remember to stay about 6 inches or so away from the face, and go around each area in small, circular motions. I tend to start in the middle of my face, where I want the most coverage, and then go out towards my hairline and neck. Start with a light layer, let it dry for a few seconds, and then add more if needed, keeping each layer light. You can always add more!

The first time I tried Luminess Air my makeup turned out pretty OK- not perfect, but not too bad. There is a slight learning curve and it takes a little bit of practice holding the stylus, pulling back on the throttle, keeping the correct distance between your face and your hand, and keeping your hand moving in small, circular motions. Try practicing on a piece of paper or a tissue and get a feel for it! By the second and third try I felt like I had it down, and I ended up with some pretty spectacular results. It was so easy to pick up and learn- anyone can do it with a little practice. 

My own personal tips for a flawless finish
I'm going to give you a few tips of my own that I did to create the perfect, flawless airbrush foundation application and finish. First, I still use my own primer before applying any Luminess Air products to my skin. Why? It gives a smoother, more even finish and covers my pores and wrinkles better. I apply my normal primer first, then I use 3-4 drops of the Luminess Air primer before applying my foundation. Secondly, I still apply my usual concealer under my eyes, on the bridge of my nose, and on any major blemishes or spots I want to conceal. Again, this is just a personal preference, but since I do a bit of contouring and highlighting at the end, I found that using my favorite cream concealer first helps make those areas "pop" a little more. Plus, it just provides even more coverage, like if I have a breakout on my chin or something. Thirdly, I still apply a light dusting of my favorite finishing powder at the very end to ensure a lasting matte finish.

In addition to the Luminess Air products I mentioned above, there's also a really cool highlighting and contouring kit that I'd like to get and try. It would be so great to be able to do that with my Luminess Airbrush system, rather than having to go back to my brush and powders. I've also got my eye on this lovely bronzer!

Save 20% on Luminess Air!

The lovely people at Luminess Air have created a special promo code for Lulu & Sweet Pea readers. Simply enter it during checkout and save 20% off Luminess Air! 

I'm truly a believer in airbrush makeup, and I will definitely continue to use my Luminess Air system. Make sure to check out Luminess Air and follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay up on the latest in airbrushing makeup and all things beauty related.

I was given these products by Luminess Air for reviewing purposes. All opinions are, as always, my own :)


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