We have all been there. We all have our on scenario’s played out in our minds of things that have happened in the past and hurt us. Let’s be honest for a minute, those situations are really hard to let go sometimes, right?
I’m going to go over a few reasons why I think forgiveness should be a top priority even if you got an empty apology or even worse..no apology at all.
You will never move forward.
You will forever be stuck in the past if you cannot let go what happened to you. Negativity can eat you alive if you allow it. Life will happen regardless and we can’t control the things that happen but we can control how we react to it. This applies to the things people say and do to you too. Let it go and grow through it. Move on, your future awaits you.
Learn from your experience.
Something powerful to remember is that you have the ability to grasp just the kind of person you don’t want to be or behavior you don’t want to posses. The pain and heartache that others put you through can be a staple in your journey towards being a better person. If you are anything like me, I sometimes replay situations over and over in my head sometimes trying to figure out how I might have been able to do something differently to produce a different outcome. Hello, anxiety! Am I right? I exhaust myself and I’m sure you know exactly what I am talking about. It’s such a fruitless behavior. Instead, concentrate on what you learned and let that carry you.
God forgives us..
We are all forgiven daily, why can’t we offer the same to others? In fact, God commands that we forgive and let go of resentment. Matthew 6:15 says,” If you refuse to forgive others, you’ll be robbing yourself of your heavenly father’s forgiveness.” Depending on where you stand with your relationship with God, maybe this speaks life to you. If not, carry on to the next paragraph.
Do it for yourself.
I’ve learned over the years that despite the pain people have knowingly or unknowingly put on my shoulders, I have to let it go. Forgiveness is a choice, simply put. If your hurt were rocks and you carried those rocks around in a bag over your shoulder, how much weight would you be toting around? Is your bag heavy or are you even carrying a bag? If it’s too heavy, put it down and don’t pick it back up. If you genuinely want that weight lifted, you have to do it for yourself. You deserve peace.
Forgive them anyway.
Not everyone will apologize and you shouldn’t wait around to hear those two little words either. When someone is not sorry for what they have done to you, it’s their problem not yours..unless you choose for it to be. You have to love yourself enough to let it go and move on. You aren’t responsible for carrying their burdens on your shoulders. I like to remind myself that hurt people often hurt people. They have their own inner demons to work with and sometimes it’s important to give them grace where they need it. Respectfully and with new boundaries.
Shed new light.
In such times, you can learn and experience things in new ways. You can establish boundaries for what kind of relationships you expect from people you associate yourself with. Current, old and new. People are ever evolving, perhaps if someones time card in your life has expired…then it’s time to move forward. The same applies the other way around. We are all on a journey, sometimes we travel together and other times we all branch off at the T and go in different directions. And it’s okay as long as you’re okay with it. Only you can answer to that, not me and not anyone else.
Forgiving and forgetting is easier said than done. I get it. I have lived it. We have all experienced it in some way, shape or form. The kicker is how we respond to these situations when they happen. I think it’s important to remember that it’s okay to be angry first. It’s only human. But just remember, that anger might just warrant an apology from your end if you aren’t careful. And it’s okay to take the time you need to heal. There is no such thing as crunch time when it comes to healing.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I met my husband 14 years ago. He and I were both young and fresh out of high school. I was in college three hours away in North Louisiana. He was hustling away working with his dad to earn the dollars and in his free time, he was a volunteer fireman in his hometown in South Louisiana. His dad’s girlfriend just so happened to work for my mother and she had a photo of me on her desk. One day when my husband stopped by for a visit..he was incredibly interested by the boss’s daughters photo.
I got wind of this little twitterpated fella and asked for a photo in return. We spoke on the phone..we met and all in a few short months, I packed up and moved down to the south to move back in with my parents and be closer to him. The first time we met was truly one of the most comical situations in my life. He was so shy and timid. We rode around and talked and laughed about everything and nothing at the same time. Something about him was different..a good kind of different.
He already had a tattoo of a maltese cross on his shoulder to give you an idea of his commitment to being a first responder. The longer we dated and the more serious it got, the more my parents pushed him to seek out a more stable and promising job. One that could support us both if we continued to be serious. And he did..after about a year of us dating, he joined the fire academy and began his training to start doing what he loved professionally. Time flew and we fell more and more in love. After about a year and a half of dating, we got engaged and then a year layer, we said our vows and promised each other forever.
I knew when I married him what his line of work entailed. I knew that he would encounter things and see things that were disturbing. I told him I would support him but I didn’t want to know the gruesome details. On the flip side of that coin, he would also save lives and be the reason someone is still living and breathing today.
What I didn’t know:
Being a fire fighter wife is like constantly living on hold. When he is gone…he’s just gone. It’s not the same as going to a 9-5 and if something comes up in between, he can sneak away really quick to help with this or that. His shift time is fully dedicated to his job. Not to himself, myself or our children. This has proven to be both positive and negative. Positive because it’s challenged me to become heavily independent. Negative because that challenge alone is really hard by itself and life gets really overwhelming at times and there is honestly nothing I can do to change those circumstances, except deal with it on my own.
Being a fire fighter wife is about taking the trash out yourself. Okay, so this isn’t the most awful thing in the world but ladies, hear me out..isn’t it wonderful when your husband does it? The overflowing list of to do’s is always so long and tasky. Having your husband around to do just one of those simple things truly makes my life so much easier.
Being a fire fighter wife is about saying the words,” I love you, be careful” in a more meaningful way. Of course, anything can happen to anyone during their day. None of us know what God’s plan is for our lives but in this line of work, these fireman are running straight into danger on purpose. It’s the most selfless thing any of them could sign up for and for me, it’s the most terrifying thing in the world. Despite him being trained on what to do in any kind of scenario, anything can go wrong in an instant. Knowing when I say those words, I could be saying them for the last time.. I am in a constant state of worry hoping that whatever call he is on day or night, he is safe and he will come home to me.
Speaking of which, being a fire fighter wife, you channel some strange telepathic magical powers. No, seriously. I can’t count how many times I woke up from a dead sleep in the middle of the night when my husband is at the station and I can’t go back to sleep. I find out the next day that my husband woke up at the same time to go on a call.
Being a fire fighter wife is about learning how to spend holidays and celebrations alone. Every now and then, his schedule aligns perfectly so he doesn’t miss much but then there’s years like this one where he misses mine and the kids birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc. It gets really lonely sometimes. Learning how to enjoy the times when you’re supposed to be with your loved ones is hard being that the one you love the most is away at the station.
Being a fire fighter wife is about learning how to not make your partner feel guilty for doing something they truly love. When they miss all of the most special things because they were on duty, it’s difficult not to hold it against them. We all know they can’t help it. It’s just hard doing everything alone all the time.
Being a fire fighter wife is about learning boundaries when your husband walks in the door. Did he sleep last night? Did he have to give CPR to an infant? Did he fearlessly run into a burning house to save someone? Did he have to cut someone out of a car to save their life? I think the hardest thing we have had to work through is the tragic plane crash he worked in Lafayette recently. When my husband walks through the door, I pay close attention to his mood. I gauge it so that I’m not throwing the kids on him or spitting out orders immediately when he walks in. For all I know, that might have been what his last shift was all about. I have to remind myself that it’s not fair to bombard him. I don’t know what he’s been through in the last 24 hours or if he can even handle the smallest of requests. We all need a minute sometimes and he deserves his minute too.
With that said, it’s all about being open arms when he’s had some rough calls to work through. Unfortunately, they have a hard time grasping the things they’ve seen and heard a lot of so it’s just important to be present and let them know that you are here for them.
Being a firefighter wife is about learning to listen to your children ask on repeat when their daddy is coming home. Thank God for FaceTime these days..sometimes just being able to see their daddy’s face and hear his voice is all they need to calm their little hearts.
Being a firefighter wife often means dinner for one. Sometimes it means driving to the fire house to visit or have dinner with the rest of the guys just so you and your kids can spend some time with him. And sometimes, as soon as you take your first bite, the fire alarm chimes and off he goes.
Being a firefighter wife can often leave you feeling empty and though I know I am not a single mom, sometimes the other wives and I joke that we are. The firefighter wives I have gotten close to over the years hold such a sweet spot in my heart. They say being a fireman is like a brotherhood and the same holds true with the women. We form a sisterhood and where our husbands cannot be, we come together and pick up each others pieces and fill in the gaps. Our bond cannot be broken just like theirs.
When I married my husband, I didn’t know how hard it would be to see him go in the mornings and wonder if he would come back home in one piece. I didn’t know how hard it would be to do so much life without him. There’s so many things I didn’t think about or truly understand until I started living it. But I also didn’t know how special it would be to hear our daughters call their daddy a hero either.
Now that I have permanently put this song in your head for the rest of the day, let me tell you about the best facial I have ever gotten in my entire life. Yes, I have gotten many in my lifetime..way more than I can count but this is undoubtedly my favorite.
This facial is called the OxyGeneo. Also known as a Super Facial, hence my silly title. It will literally improve the tone and texture of your skin within one treatment and the best part is, there is zero downtime! This procedure takes all of about 30 minutes and is suitable for all skin tones and types. I actually had a hormonal break out on my chin when I did this facial. Don’t you just love when your body wants to remind you that the time of the month is upon you? Like, gee thanks lady parts, I’ve only been doing for 18 years but thanks for the reminder! Insert eye roll..
Anyways..my pizza chin had no match for the GeneO+. You’ll see for yourself before the end of this post.
What happens during a Super Facial:
The type of exfoliation you can expect will be similar to a microdermabrasion. A hydrating gel is applied to the skin and a tool will be used to remove the uppermost layer of dead skin cells, smooth and renew a fresh canvas of skin to prepare it for receiving active nutrients. If you’ve ever been licked by a cat, the sensation of this exfoliation tool is pretty similar to that..and it kind of sounds like a cat purring too.
For this step, a second layer of hydrating mask is applied and the GeneO+ tool is used again but this time it is used to massage in a ton of moisture in the skin. It will increase blood flow and the skins metabolism of nutrients to the skin.
3. Infuse (Ultrasound)
This last step really seals the deal. The final layer of hydrating mask will be applied to the face and the GeneO+ tool is used again. A chemical reaction happens between the mask and the tool used and little oxygen bubbles will begin gently bursting on the skin sending oxygen rich blood to the area being worked on. This isn’t painful at all, pinky swear.
In a nut shell, this is incredibly nutritious to not only the surface of the skin but deeply below the surface as well. I am so not a science person and I know this all sounds super crazy but if you have ever had an ultrasound done, the sensation is similar. It just feels like a cool sensation gliding along the skin. This step actually stimulates collagen so it helps plump the skin up.
Take a look at the before and after photo. I am completely blown away at just how much it changed my entire complexion in such a short amount of time. I cannot wait to schedule my next one, I hope to start getting these regularly! Speaking of, you can actually receive these facials about every 4-6 weeks. This treatment is your new best friend if you are looking for a quick, painless but highly effective facial. It will completely smooth out your skin texture, your fine lines and wrinkles will quickly be softened, your skin will be tight and firm in all the right places and undoubtedly the most hydrated and healthy its ever been! I can see how this facial would be crazy beneficial before any kind of event, photos of any kind or hey, even a Mardi Gras Ball!
You can easily visit Laser Skin Care of Louisiana’s website to learn more about this treatment as well as all the other services they offer or give them a call at 337-237-1116 to schedule your appointment. Click here for new patient inquiries.
The holidays are here! Which means family, friends, presents, food and a lot of memories to be made! We have come up with a few little things to help ease a few hot topics of the season. A few simple recipes, some outfit inspo’s that are very wallet friendly and some ideas for splitting gifts that can not only make the receiver happy but as the giver..let’s just say you’ll go down in history as the best gift giver ever!
For starters, I love how the holidays are so unique and special to each family. For me, I will basically starve myself the day of only to indulge in the biggest plate of food known to man by mid-afternoon. Others, will make an entire day out of every single meal in the kitchen. I think both scenarios are exciting. Regardless of what’s being prepared, it’s what brings us all together in the first place that means the most. My friend Kellye is one that starts the day off by making a breakfast casserole. By lunch, they generally have finger type foods to snack on and then the real business starts at supper time. Her favorites are down below and you can find the recipe by clicking the photo!
Sheet Pan Pancakes
Who doesn’t love pancakes!?! Pancakes are a staple in my house. My husband is better at whipping up flapjack masterpieces but I’ve got the best recipe for easy sheet-pan pancakes so who’s the real winner here? Grab some mixed fruit, follow this amazing recipe below from dinnerthedessert.com, and have a crowd of happy guest with full bellies!
Click the photo below.
Sausage and Gravy Breakfast Casserole
Often times, the easiest recipes are casseroles you can throw together in minutes. My Aunt always has a “breakfast staples” casserole ready when we visit by using whatever she has in the fridge. I love this version below from Scattered Thoughts Of A Crafty Mom Blog. You’ll for sure have a house full of happy guests by using the recipe below.
Click the photo below.
Cheesy Corn Casserole
Corn casserole is a favorite of ours and a definitely a crowd pleaser. I’m sharing my recipe from Kay Robertson’s cookbook which is linked above to purchase from Amazon. The best part is that the “cheesiness” is optional! Sometimes we omit the cheese depending on how well it pairs with the other sides we are serving with the meal. You can find the recipe below the photo or purchase the cookbook for this side dish and more by clicking the photo.
Cheesy Corn Casserole
Makes 8-10 Servings • 9 x 13- inch casserole dish
1 stick ( 1/4 pound) butter, melted
1 can (15.25 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14.75 ounces) cream-style corn
1 carton (8 ounces) sour cream
1 box (8.5 ounces) jiffy corn muffin mix
2 cups grated cheese, divided: 1 1/2 cups in mix and 1/2 cup sprinkled on top.
1. Heat the oven to 375° F. Lightly butter the casserole dish.
2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into the casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool a little before serving.
Green Bean Casserole:
Like I said, I starve until we eat our late lunch and then by supper time, I’m mostly still full but I can usually cram something else in. When it comes to my favorites though, I am all about some fried turkey and some macaroni and cheese casserole. We usually indulge on what’s left until everything runs out but then I found myself trying to figure out a different way to enjoy those tasty left overs. Allow me to introduce you to the almighty Thanksgiving Slider recipe. I scored this recipe on Pinterest and I just know it’s a winner. It’s basically taking what is left from the meal and layering it between two sides of a Hawaiian roll, baking it and then enjoying Thanksgiving or Christmas all over again but this time it’s between two buttery, toasted buns. Sign me up!
Fuzzy was a….me. I am Fuzzy Wuzzy. Does anyone else remember that childhood poem? It was my absolute favorite! So, you’re probably wondering why I am referring myself to a hairless mama bear? Well, for one, I am squishy-ish like a bear and secondly, I also just had my second round of laser hair removal on my face. I am noticing as the time goes on just how non-fuzzy my face is for once in my life!
Let’s rewind a bit shall we? When I was like 13 years old, I begged my mom to let me shave my face. Of course her answer was always no until she finally decided to give in. She let me use one of those face/nose trimmers to edge off all the dark peach fuzz off of my face. You see, with my genetics, I have always had incredibly dark hairs. It was never a thing where I shaved and it grew back in dark, which is a total myth by the way but we will save that lecture for another time. My entire family has dark hair. It only makes sense that I would follow suite and fit in with the rest of them. Even before I hit puberty, I had dark little fuzzes all over my face. As I got older, I disliked my teenage beard less and less…it got really hard to not just shave it off without my mothers permission. But alas, I was a good girl and waited for her blessing and thank God she finally gave it. I have been shaving my face ever since.
It’s been almost twenty years and I still shave. No, I don’t have a man beard. No, It doesn’t grow in thicker. No, it doesn’t grow in darker. No, it’s not wiry pubes all over my face…however, if you do have a few “granny hairs” as I like to call them, this treatment is for you sister! I have a few myself that have sprouted the older I get and the rest is just dark colored peach fuzz like it always has been. As I have gotten older, I have discovered new ways of hair removal, one being dermaplaning and the other being laser hair removal. Since laser hair removal is more permanent, I figured, why not! So I have tried it and after my second treatment, I am so flipping impressed, it’s unreal!
To prepare for this treatment, I could not:
-Wax or tweeze for at least six weeks prior.
-No Retin-A, antibiotics, tanning/tanning products or skin bleaching.
The reason you cannot wax or tweeze is because the actual hair bulb beneath the skin has to be present for this procedure to be effective. When you wax or tweeze, that little bulb is removed, thus making the laser treatment ineffective. Skin bleaching is a big no, no because the laser used in this treatment is drawn to anything dark so if you bleach, it will be very hard for the laser to target those hairs. Retin-A, antibiotics or tanning products simply because the skin can react in different ways in general, however, using these products can actually be dangerous to the skin. The kind of dangerous that if you have done any of these things, your procedure will have to be rescheduled and totally for your benefit. Rules are meant to be followed, not broken in this case!
Getting down to the nitty gritty, let’s talk about the actual procedure. Let’s not forget that I had this done on my face so the actual steps I list here could be different when this treatment is done somewhere else on the body..but back to the good stuff. When you get started, your skin will be cleansed to ensure that there are no traces of anything left behind that could alter the lasers ability to do it’s job. Next, you will have goggles placed over your eyes so that the brightness of the laser doesn’t affect your eyes. Then the real fun begins! Your skin care provider will begin working the laser in a complete pattern around the areas of concern..for me, this is the entire “beard” zone. The sides of my face, under my chin, under and above my lips. Voila! It’s a pretty quick job too, I can get the entire treatment done from start to finish in about ten minutes. I’ll add another fun tidbit while I’m at it. Ever smelled burnt hair? You’ll get a slight little whiff of that too, so be prepared!
For the most part, there isn’t any pain either. I’ve done the bikini area before and that was rather painful, however, it is a much more sensitive area. The face on the other hand is actually not all that painful. The upper lip though…I don’t know if you have ever seen a cat hanging upside down on a ceiling but that’s basically what I pictured myself doing the first time I had my upper lip done. It’s very instantaneous though. There’s pain and then it just mellows out immediately after. There’s actually a really interesting feature on the laser that instantly cools the skin when the laser goes off so it helps to soothe the skin. It kind of feels like a little surge of ice. Another factor to consider is that if you are a woman and you are around or on your cycle, the sensitivity in your skin is much greater than normal. And that happened to be the case the first time I had this done. The second time I had it done, it wasn’t shark week, praise Jesus.
Afterwards, you can expect your skin to be slightly inflamed and red for a little while but it does go down. You can go back to normal activities right after with no down time except for some mild redness in the skin. I went to Target right after, I didn’t care. Stare away folks..stare away..admire my iced peppermint mocha too while you’re at it.
The methods prior to the treatment are pretty much all the same for any part of the body but where you have it done on your body can differ in the after care. You can have this treatment done roughly every 4-8 weeks until your desired results are achieved! You can easily learn all about Laser Hair Removal by contacting Laser Skincare Of Louisiana at(337) 237-1116to schedule your consult or dive straight into an appointment..go ahead, you little daredevil you!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the office of Dr. Kevin J. Duplechain.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I know it, you know it, we all know it!
With that said, we all know it means family, friends, The Griswold’s and Kevin McCallister, gathering, laughter, joy, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Santa and his reindeer, the sneaky little elf cramming cookies in the DVD player, the tree and the food that brings everyone together..and of course..shopping! Shopping, shopping, shopping! Did you know that roughly 165.8 million people shopped between Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday just last year? Holiday sales also surpassed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2018! All due to physical and virtual shopping! That’s a lot of money, y’all!
Clearly, we are a world who loves the spirit of giving when it comes to Christmas. I wanted to go over a few smart ways to shop this year. There are obviously a ton of ways to make your Christmas shopping successful and I will undoubtedly miss a few popular methods but I wanted to showcase some of my personal favorites as well as my close family and friends way of doing things.
Here comes Amazon, here comes Amazon, right down my driveway! FedEx and the UPS man sortin’ and shippin’ Delivering all over the place! Horns are honkin’, Mom’s are stalkin’ Grabbin’ gifts, put’em out of sight Hang your stockings and say your prayers ‘Cause Amazon’s comin’ tonight!
Who sang this with me? It’s basically my fight song for Christmas because I am the queen of online shopping. There is nothing I love more than sitting at home in the comfort of my pj’s and shopping online. In fact, for years now, friends and I have all gotten together on Cyber Monday and let our children play while we all shop from our laptops. It is so much fun!
The first smart way to shop is definitely Amazon. I’ve compiled what I think are the most time effective and realistic ways you can shop and save.
– Smile Amazon feature:
This feature is operated by Amazon. It has the exact same products, prices and shopping features as regular Amazon. However, the difference is that when you shop on http://www.smile.amazon.com, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the eligible items you purchased to a charitable organization of your choice. For me personally, my nephew Kaden has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy and this happens to be one of the many organizations available for donation. I shop this feature year round because I love the aspect of giving in such a loving and effortless way. There are so many charities to choose from. This is not a way to save money but you aren’t exactly spending any extra money either as the donation is taken out of the purchase price from your order. If you aren’t already using this feature, I highly encourage you to start shopping smarter and making donations to causes that mean the most to you this holiday season and throughout the year!
Amazon offers a yearly subscription service that includes free shipping at a quick delivery turn around, prime member deals, streaming on music and videos and so much more. I have been a Prime member for quite a few years now and it’s convenience makes it all completely worth the yearly cost. Who doesn’t love free shipping? Technically you’ve obviously paid for it with the membership but I order so much and keep a lot of my household items on subscription so, it totally makes sense to have it. Sometimes I shop online and places want to charge an arm and a leg just to get it to my house so I will literally close out of it and never order it. Amazon Prime takes the stress out of all of your orders costing so much to be delivered to your doorstep. With all of this said, I realize that not everyone is just chomping at the bit to pay the yearly membership fee which is $119 or $12.99 a month. You can actually sign up for a 30 day free trial and just cancel before your first payment would be due. Hello! Perfect time to jump on that train, am I right? Not to mention, you can actually cancel anytime. Better yet, if you are a student, you can register for an Amazon Student account and get many of the same benefits as the Prime members do and get it free for the first six months. Verified EBT and Medicaid cardholders can get Prime benefits for a discounted price of $5.99 per month for four years max. See? Everybody wins!
-Amazon Wish List:
This is actually a super cool feature within itself. You can create different lists that are public or private and add to them anytime you want to. What’s also really cool is the items you add, Amazon actually watches them for you in the even there is a price change. You’ll receive an email about the price change and if it’s a better price than before, great! You can jump on your purchase for a better price! You also run the risk of that item running out of stock. This feature has it’s perks but if it’s something you just have to have and you know it’s a popular item, saving it on your wish list might not be the best choice.
-Deal of the Day/Lightning Deals:
Every single day Amazon offers deals. Each deal gives the time limit left for each item and the Lightning deals go way faster than regular deals. There’s a limited amount available so not only do they go quickly but they go faster due to the time given for the sale. You can also monitor upcoming deals and have Amazon remind you about the items you have interest in.
This is actually pretty new to me. As in, I just learned about it as I was searching out smarter ways to shop this year and write this up for you guys!
So this is actually an app you can download to your phone. You create an account and the rest is basically taken care of by the app from what I understand. You shop online like you normally would and Paribus monitors your confirmation emails and watches for price changes so you essentially, don’t have to! If a price drop is detected, Paribus lets you know and they help you get refunded for the price changed amount. So for example, if you purchase a $90 sweater and the price drops down to $75 dollars, Paribus lets you know about it and you will be refunded the $15. How cool right? I have already downloaded the app and I am basically just waiting for magic to happen at this point! Paribus tracks purchases from over 25 major retailers including Amazon, Target, Nordstrom, Walmart, Gap, Macy’s and more. As if this doesn’t sound exciting enough, they also monitor the return window for your items as well.
This is actually what sparked the idea for creating this write up. I was listening to the Rise Podcast this morning by Rachel Hollis. She is so good. Her words just bring peace and excitement to my soul in so many ways. In her episode this morning with Tim McGraw, they had a break and she started talking about this website called Honey. Honey is 100% free and you can look into it at http://www.joinhoney.com. It’s literally like three whole clicks and you’re done. It adds a web browser extension and you can go shopping anywhere. Literally, they serve over 37,000 stores. So you can shop away on whatever website whether it’s Target, Sephora, Nike or wherever and it automatically scrolls the web and finds discounts and applies it for you! I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a couponer right? Except now, you don’t even need scissors or a game plan, you just download this to your browser and continue living your life and get discounts. Sign me up!
#4. Black Friday:
So, I actually went black Friday shopping when I was like 14 or 15 with my Mom and sister-in-law. We got up at like 1 in the morning, drove to the nearest city which was about an hour away. We got in line which was already eons deep. We waited hours in the cold before the doors to Sears opened and we ran. Everyone ran. There was so much running. We get inside, we grab a buggy, everyone is still running. And then it happens..a little old lady on a mission ran over my achilles tendon and ruined every ounce of me that wanted to enjoy Black Friday Shopping. Sixteen years later, I have yet to endeavor on a Black Friday journey ever again. And I lived happily ever after.
On the flip side, I hear that the thrill of all the running and chasing after your most wanted items at discounted prices are exactly what people enjoy the most! I actually reached out to my network to see what the hype was all about and everyone basically said it’s all about tradition and making memories. For some, it’s a way for stay at home moms to actually get out of the house and do something exciting for once, which I think is insanely special! I think I can definitely relate to that, since I have started my Rae Dunn obsession, I have found myself running in stores, drifting buggies and grabbing all the things. Some love being in the crowds and all of the excitement associated with the Holidays. I get it. If you know what you’re running after, I say go for it. Make those memories girl!
#5. Shop Small:
When you shop small or locally, it keeps the tax dollars in your community and encourages others to start businesses and aim for growth. You will also undoubtedly get way better customer service. Those with small businesses care about every single detail from the items they market, to the way they’re created and the way they are delivered. You can also connect with the people in your community and learn more about the things and opportunities going on around you. Not to mention, when you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance. It helps puts food on tables, it helps pay for a child’s dancing class and ultimately, it helps to support someones dream.
Let me just start by saying that my daughter’s curls are wilder than they are. I had always hoped, even before my children were born that they would inherit my curly hair and, by golly, they did. Theirs isn’t quite as curly as mine, but none the less, I have two beautiful, blue eyed, curly headed beaus.
I always get asked how I get my girls hair looking like I do and truth be told, there really is no magic trick to it, you just have to know how to take care of it! Perhaps since I have always had curly hair and I also have a cosmo degree, I probably know more than the normal but that doesn’t mean that the average mom can’t learn a thing or two about how to manage some curly fries.
The number one step in taming any type of wavy hair is product usage. When my girls were first born, they didn’t have hair for the longest time but when it started to grow in, the curls just took over. Shampooing AND CONDITIONING is probably one of the biggest musts when dealing with this hair type. I know it’s difficult to figure out what to use on babies when they’re so little and also factoring in what the actual heck is safe to use. We use Noodle & Boo, The Honest Company and Hot Tot.
Noodle & Boo is a brand that produces products that are safe and effective for babies and mama’s. Their formulas are amazing, I have used quite a few of their products and have loved every single one of them! And the smell…it’s what memories are made of. Seriously, when I smell it, it reminds me of what my girls smelled like when they were newborns. It just takes me back. Getting back to the hair products, I used their extra gentle shampoo, nourishing creme rinse and the conditioning hair polish. The Polish was a great post cleaning product to smooth and de-tangle. They’re all super gentle formulas but perfect for taming their little curls.
Next on my favorites list is The Honest Company. Their products are safe and effective also! They also have a variety of bath time products to choose from with different lovely scents. We used the Shampoo/Body Wash and paired it with the Conditioner. A little truly goes a long way with these products! They also carry a conditioning de-tangler that works really well if your child’s hair tangles easy! Which more than likely, it will if it’s curly!
Lastly, Hot Tot. This was actually an Amazon find but the mom who created this brand actually went on ABCs show Shark Tank and ended up gaining support from one of the sharks on the show and has been building her business ever since. I absolutely love supporting small businesses whenever I can and especially when I love their safe and efficient products. Now, for this line, I have never personally used their shampoo or conditioner. I have heard AMAZING things but I just haven’t tried it yet! No real reason why, however, I have used their Conditioning De-tangler which is basically the bomb dot com. I have also used and still use the Sweet Pea Curl Serum. I absolutely love this in the girls hair, it just calms and smooths it perfectly into place.
These are all my top favorite child products for the girls hair. As far as styling goes, air drying is probably my favorite. Curls are pretty delicate and the least you do with them, the better. When they get out of the tub, I will typically use a wet brush to de-tangle and get my post bath products in quickly and let it do its thing.
Oh and before I forget, whoever said to just use a dime size amount of conditioner tells lies. Do not be deceived, Mama. Those curls are thirsty and they need a drink. I can’t tell you just how much to use on your little one but trial and error it until you figure out how much gets the job done.
I thought I felt my heart actually breaking the weeks and days that led up to my oldest starting Pre-K. I felt sick to my stomach. I was losing sleep. I was having anxiety about following such a strict routine because, let’s face it, I have been a stay at home mom with no real schedule for years. I was crying at the drop of a hat. I was making myself miserable..and I was making my child miserable too. I know all the regulars who have been doing this for years are literally laughing at this right now saying,” Come on Mom, get it together!!” Don’t worry ladies, after about six weeks into this, I have the swing of things down and I want to share some of the things that have made this a fun transition for us.
For starters, let me just say that the first day of school was actual trauma. Seriously, if you go to a dictionary and look up the word ‘trauma’, our first day of school story will be written there in big bold letters. Going back to the part where I said I was making my daughter miserable, I realized that I really hadn’t said much about how much fun she would have or how many friends she would make. I spent our days cuddling her, playing with her and telling her how much I would miss her. Don’t get me wrong, I did tell her should would have fun and she would make friends but there was far more emphasis on how much I loved her and how much I would miss her while she was at school. Looking back now, I realize I should have swallowed my sorrows and built her up more to prepare her for her first day. The truth is, she was only as excited as I was to send her to school, which wasn’t very much.
The second day of school, I knew I had to do better and I had to be better for her. If she was going to go to school and have any kind of fun, I was going to have to instill some form of hope in her. I prayed and prayed the night before for her and for myself so I could be better for her. While I was making her breakfast that morning, suddenly it just hit me. I grabbed a marker out of my craft room and I drew a heart on the inside of her wrist and mine. I told her to look at it every time she missed me and I would look at mine too. A friend of mine on Instagram had mentioned a particular book I needed to order on Amazon to read to her about going to school so I think that might have been what sparked the idea. I, unfortunately, still have not ordered the book. Ally and I still have a matching doodle on the inside of our wrists every day and it is special to us. I know the book is probably the best thing since sliced cheese but to me, this is ours. It’s one of the ways we have survived this transition. Now my youngest likes to have something drawn on the inside of her wrist and occasionally when my husband is home in the morning, he gets a matching drawing on his wrist too.
Also starting on the second day of school, I did something I remembered my mom doing for me when I was little. The house I grew up in was at least 100 years old and high off the ground. The least bit of a chill in the air would make the house freezing. My mom would put a blanket in the drier or draped in front of our lit fire place to wrap me in to keep me toasty while I ate my breakfast. Typically this was a Winter thing only but considering my house thermostat is set on arctic temperatures at all times, it kind of applies every single morning. My daughter looks forward to her warm blanket in the mornings. And the little girl in me smiles inside because I remember the safe and loved feeling it gave me when my mom would snuggle me up in a fresh warm blanket.
The Cinnamon Rolls.
Several of my mom friends who have children in school already warned me that my kids would be exhausted by Friday afternoon, for us so far, that happens to be by Thursday. When they come home from school, they are whipped. So much that they hit the hay early and have a hard time getting up the next morning for their last day of the week. So, I started getting up even earlier on Friday mornings to pre-heat the oven and bake some fresh cinnamon rolls. Usually the kids hear me stirring around in the kitchen and wake up just before it’s time. But they’re immediately excited because the smell of sugary cinnamon fills the house and they typically stand at the oven watching them back until they’re done cooking and ready to eat. It’s crazy how changing up the breakfast to something a little more exciting gets them a little bit more eager for the day. It’s like a sweet little incentive for making it to Friday!
The Sunday Snack Ritual.
I had been buying tons of snacks at the grocery store every week and before the second or third day, my stash was nearly gone because the kids were going through them so fast between school snacks and after school snacks, then before bed snacks. I mean, this snack issue was a real issue! Coincidentally, I had a box of cake mix that was going out of date if I didn’t bake it soon and clearly, my kids love to watch things bake in the oven so one Sunday evening, we baked mini cupcakes with no icing and it turned into their snack for the week. Making messes seem to be one of the main things that feeds into their joy, so this was actually a really fun little thing for us to do together. And my snack stash didn’t disappear within five seconds that week! I was like..okay…so maybe this could be a thing! So now, we bake on Sundays. Even if its just a tube of nestle cookies, we do it together. It doesn’t matter how messy it is or how un-chef like they look. It’s the gesture itself of simply making them with the girls that makes it fun and the girls just “know” that they’re making their snacks for the week.
I know that I am probably setting my expectations high for the kids and maybe things won’t always be this way. I guess the way I see it is, they’re only little once and soon enough, these things will only be a distant memory and they won’t want their warm blankets, hearts on their wrist or to bake with mama anymore. It does make for a little extra planning and sometimes it makes for a bigger mess than I really feel like dealing with but the laughs and their smiles are so worth it.
I’d also like to add in that sometimes reading things exactly like this make me feel very less than. As if I don’t measure up and I’m not doing enough with my kids. If you’re that mama, please hear me, we are all doing the absolute best we can. Even if it means you could barely roll out of bed in the morning because the baby didn’t sleep last night or all the snacks for the week are store bought. No one is judging you and if they are, they aren’t your friend. You do what’s best for you and your family. There are no rules or guidelines to follow when you’re doing what makes your role in motherhood easier or flow for that matter. Keep your chin up and smiles on those littles faces. You’re doing a great job!
I know you’re already wondering what the heck this is, so I will make this quick and painless, just like the procedure!
The Hollywood Laser Peel is a fancy way of saying Carbon Laser Facial. It’s also known as the Charcoal Facial or Charcoal Peel. Liquid Carbon is applied directly to the entire face, then the laser is used to remove it. When the laser goes off, it blasts the carbon away. The carbon absorbs contaminants in the skin, so when the laser zaps the carbon off, it removes that too! And that is reason #1 why you should get one of these peels!
#2: Your skin will get a much needed exfoliation. Proper exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the surface. Meaning it can unclog your pores and leave a fresh new layer of skin that’s more accepting of the moisturizers you use. It makes the products you use, work much more efficiently!
#3: It will improve the skin’s texture. Skin texture can often end up damaged or uneven due to the sun, scarring, dehydration, lack of the right vitamin usage and even season change among other things. This peel will immediately improve the way your skin looks and feels. It will make your makeup application look much smoother too!
As you can see here, I have a few breakouts on my forehead. This is what I was looking forward to treating. I don’t break out very often! The one above my eyebrow was so intense and painful!
#4: You can expect your fine lines to be reduced! The laser is actually pretty warm when you feel the surge go off so it causes the skin to contract and it stimulates collagen! This means you will see your skin be much firmer and have a more youthful appearance.
#5: Your pores will shrink. This was a huge one for me and definitely one of the main things I noticed about this treatment. My pores aren’t really large or dilated in any particular place. However, my nose seems to be one of the only areas that I will regularly get whiteheads. My pores are just wide open there so it makes sense that they just accept dirt, oil and bacteria with open arms…you know what I mean. It’s been several weeks since I received this facial and that’s one of the biggest changes I have seen in my skin. My nose doesn’t have pot holes all over it anymore. Stop laughing, it’s not funny. But seriously, if larger pores are a thing for you, this is your jam!
#6: Zero Downtime! Let’s be honest, we live in a fast paced world and we often want to partake in things that give us fast results. There aren’t many things in life that offer a quick fix, but this service will offer immediate results afterward and the days following. Imagine if you continuously received this service once a month and how much your skin and complexion would thank you!
#7. With that said, it isn’t painful at all. I wouldn’t even go far as to say it’s uncomfortable. It definitely does have a sensation though. It’s almost like when your arm or foot goes to sleep and then it starts to tingle. It’s like quick little zaps of tingle. If that makes any sense!
This photo was taken about a week after the treatment. This photo has not been edited or altered in any way. The breakouts were gone and the one I worried about the most above my eyebrow had disappeared and I was left with a soft, smooth surface. No bumpy scar tissue or anything that causes your makeup to cake up on top of in efforts to cover.
#8. It’ll set your acne straight! Having a breakout is actually a prime time to get the treatment. Since it blasts out all the bacteria responsible for the acne, it can minimize and diminish those bad boys within just a few short days. Whether your skin is acne prone in general, you have hormonal breakouts, reactions to medications…it’ll help!
#9. The regenerative results with your collagen and elasticity in the skin continues for weeks and months to come and there’s an even higher success rate with following the recommended treatment schedule.
#10. This treatment is a quick and easy way to achieve bright, smooth and beautiful skin just before prom, a photoshoot, a wedding or any type of special event where you’d like to show up just a little more extra than normal. Even if you have no events coming up and you’d like to sport the best skin you’ve ever had…consider this!
#11. It’s what a lot of celebrities do! A-list celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie do this treatment very often and their skin is gorgeous! They also probably benefit from many other treatments and procedures but this particular charcoal facial promises plump, soft and radiant skin!
#12. This treatment is well suited for many skin types and skin conditions. I will say that if you are sensitive like me, you should do just fine. However, you’ll be able to judge best upon consultation with your skin care specialist.
#13. You deserve some Red Carpet pampering. If you are a mom and you are reading this, you know just as much as I do, you aren’t getting enough sleep. You’re probably not drinking enough water. You’re probably not filling your cup regularly like you should. You’re probably not taking care of yourself or your skin like you want to. Cut to the chase and splurge on yourself because you deserve it!
I enjoyed this treatment and I look forward to my next one! You can schedule a consultation or appointment by calling Laser SkinCare if Louisiana at (337) 237-1116. They will be happy to assist you and tend to all of your questions and concerns.
Disclosure: This post is sponsoredby the office of Dr. Kevin J. Duplechain.
So, a few weeks ago, I had a lot of things going on that really just drug me down through the dirt. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those sappy “poor me” blog posts, I promise.
Long story short, I got sick back to back..to back. I went to doctors, I was prescribed all kinds of medications and I had an awful allergic reaction to some steroids. You know that game kids play called bobbing for apples? I looked like I had gone bobbing for french fries in a deep fryer. It was so embarrassing. And the hardest part was having to wait until it was all out of my system, which took several weeks. Being a beauty influencer, I rely on my face to be the billboard for my brand and my business. In many cases, makeup could easily cover any flaws or imperfections but this was so far from either of those things. It was bumpy and bright red and while a lot of spots went away, not all of them did.
I went to my trusted skin care specialist, Jessica Darbonne at Laser SkinCare of Louisiana, for a treatment and ended up getting something other than what I went in there for. I was going to get another IPL like I wrote about a couple of months ago, but my skin couldn’t even handle that. I thought the spots that I had left on my face were still left over from the allergic reaction that I had but she told me that those left over spots were actually scars left over from the reaction. F A N T A S T I C…. just what I need, scars on my face. I know it’s not the worst thing in the world that could happen but dang it..I did not want this!
So she switched me to another procedure called the VBeam Perfecta. This type of treatment will safely and effectively remove all types of discoloration in the skin. This includes sun spots, age spots and freckles. Those who have stretch marks, warts, psoriasis, scars, rosacea, port wine stains, facial veins or even leg veins would benefit from this treatment as well! Jessica mentioned that the beam is actually targeted towards the color red in general, so this procedure was going to be perfect for my new, unwanted scarring.
Pictures above are beforeprocedure.
The way this treatment works is by using a Pulsed Dye Laser to disperse bursts of light into the skin. The light is then safely absorbed into the skin and treats the abnormalities. It is safe, effective and has zero downtime. Some people even notice results right away! For me, I started noticing within a few hours that the redness was going down significantly..can I get an AMEN?
For this treatment, I had to go to a different room than a typical facial room. This particular machine has it’s own special suite. I got cozy and ready to start the treatment. Jessica put my hair back and goggles over my eyes, then put her hands over my face and said,” I am Buzz Lightyear, I come in peace….” Just kidding, I just wanted to make sure you were really paying attention. I swear, one day I will stop making references towards my toddlers and their infatuation with Disney movies, but today is not that day! Seriously though, Jessica started the procedure by working from one side of my face to the next and before I knew it, the procedure was all finished. I know you’re probably wondering..”So…you get zapped by this really intense flash light..and then you’re just fine afterwards?” The answer is yes. Have you ever been unexpectedly sprayed by a water hose that’s on full force? It doesn’t exactly hurt but its a surprising sensation? That’s sorta what this is like except this sensation comes from a much tinier source and of course, it’s not water, it’s light. That’s the best way I can explain it. Not painful, just a surprising little zap.
Pictures above are three days after procedure.
Like I mentioned above, I started noticing the redness and inflammation in my skin going down in the hours following the procedure. Days and weeks after, they’re all gone! This treatment more than exceeded my expectations. I know that my skin doesn’t look all that bad in these pictures but imagine what it could do for someone who has a lot more going on than I did!
You can schedule a consultation or appointment by calling Laser SkinCare of Louisiana at (337) 237-1116. They will be happy to assist you in choosing your next skincare treatment!
Picture above is twenty days after the procedure. Smooth, glowing skin!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the office of Kevin J. Duplechain.