Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Makeup Show L.A.

You all know that I'm a makeup artist by trade right?
Hmm.....clearly I have not been doing a great job promoting that on here.
Well, Sunday I had the pleasure of escaping my mommy duties and attending day two of The Makeup Show L.A.  
It was absolutely fabulous.
all the makeup lovers
air brushing at makeup forever

A makeup lover (and artists) dream come true.
What is it you ask?
Well its an annual event in which the top industry artists and pro-driven companies present the latest products, seminars, hands on workshops and forums in one space.
I had the opportunity to learn about some of the newest lines, see & test out products, purchase supplies and hear fabulous keynote speakers!
I met one of the top celebrity makeup artists Troy Jensen (he's done everyone from J.Lo to Kim Kardashian)
Troy Jensen & I

 and re-connect with the fabulous Lori Taylor of  Smashbox (Pro Lead Makeup Artist).
Lori Taylor

She's kind of a She-ro of mine.
Gorgeous, talented, generous with her time and advice and nice to boot!
I left there truly inspired and motivated to make Sweet Emotions Makeup Artistry a better known brand and business.
Ideas on how to better carve out my niche and serve my clients were flying through my head on the drive home from downtown.
Of course there was a TON of product for sale and I had to indulge a bit.
I am so happy with my purchases but do regret not getting a few much needed tools and accessories.
Not to worry as I will be making a trip to Nigel Beauty Emporium to pick up what I talked myself out of.
trolley style makeup case

inside the has drawers!!

folding directors chair!!

I didn't want my CFO to have a heart attack when I walked in with 20 different bags!!
So I forced myself to show some restraint and left the show after about 20 laps around the building and 3 hours.
I'm so happy I was able to attend this event, meet all these artists, get some great products and be inspired all at the same time.
It's exactly what I needed at this point in my life.

Who wants to go with me next year??

Monday, March 19, 2012

the aftermath

 Let's get real for a moment shall we?
We all know that pregnancy wreaks havoc on a woman's body.
You spend 40 odd weeks cultivating a life inside of you meanwhile your outside is a hot mess.
There are changes in weight & skin to contend with, hair growth in strange places and the whole fashion fiasco.
Y'all know I was doing my best to stay somewhat fashionable as a pregnant lady and still be comfortable but the last few months were understandably hard.
My body was growing by leaps and bounds and my budget was not as flexible (stretchy) as my skin seemed to be.
So I made do with what I had.
And that was okay.
If you really want to see a cute preggo mama check out my friend Andrea's blog for her daily outfit posts.
I think she looks fabulous.
Very on trend, age appropriate and cute to boot!!
Now that I'm on the other end I can see what I could have done differently to make myself feel better about my ensembles toward the end and learn right?
However, now I am contending with a whole new set of "issues".
The post baby waist.
I have no idea whats happening with my midsection.
The upside is that breast feeding allows me to burn massive amounts of calories per day (while consuming copious amounts of food) and is causing my stomach to shrink on its own.
But for the love of pete, can it go any slower???
The C-section factor is also not in my favor. Because of the surgery I am unable to workout for another  2 weeks.
Major bummer.
Workouts are great for my sanity.
So I try to take the baby out for some air and a quick jaunt around the neighborhood while not pushing myself too much as to impede my recovery process.
And while I'm excited my legs are somewhat back to normal looking (minus the hip area) I am not pleased with the mini-muffin top type deal I've got going on.
Then there is the whole skin thing.
Umm.....I have NO idea what's happening with that.
My skin (face wise) has never been so dry and peely.
I'm so grossed out by it.
I use my clairsonic daily and that seems to help a bit but by the end of the day I feel like I've been in the Sahara all day without a hat.
And I can see the peeling parts which is what really kills me
I'm going to have to go rogue and test out some new moisturizers and see what works for me now.
I've also been dealing with the hair situation.
Not that kind of hair situation, the ones on my head.
I have 3 very visible greys that are not sitting well with me.
I own my age but grey hair?
Me thinks not.
So this weekend I have a date/appointment with my sister-friend/hairdresser to add some color of some kind.
It's way to dark right now and that's just depressing and totally not who I am.
Because really, that's what its all about.
Getting back to who I am as a wife and mother of two.
Whats working for me now style wise?
I'm all about layering.
Just as much now as I was while pregnant.
I know that certain styles of tops will make me look larger than I am and that others will only magnify the parts I'm not currently excited about so I try to find a happy medium with layers.
Breastfeeding kind of makes it more difficult to do this when I'm out and about
 (not that I'm really "out and about")
 so I try to go for simpler items that can unbutton or quickly be lifted up without drawing too much attention to myself.
It's all a process.
I'm learning as I go.
As I've said before I can't wait until I get the all clear to resume my workouts.
I know that will not only help my sanity but do wonders for my now limited wardrobe.
I can get into my jeans but getting them to sit where I want is a challenge due to my scar and the puff of skin around it.
 Once that goes down a bit I know it will be easier but that will take a little while still.
Because, really, I don't want to buy "interim" clothes while I wait to get my body back.
No, I think I will just work what I have and see how that goes.
Stay tuned......

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Catching up

Oh my!
 I feel so behind!
It seems like its been ages since I posted anything let alone had time to read other blogs!!
Sleep deprivation and baby cuddles will do that to a girl I guess.
I'm not complaining though.
I feel a bit like I'm finally breaking through the haze I've been walking around in for the last few weeks so that makes me happy.
Yesterday we celebrated Sweet Pea's 10th  birthday.
I can't believe it.
I have a TEN YEAR OLD!!!
When the heck did that happen? Has it really been a decade since she entered our lives???
She is such a little lady and I am such a proud parent these days.
A great kid and wonderful big sister. She is very concerned about how her little brother is faring in the world.
Seriously, I am like bursting at the seams, I have so much love in my heart for my two little gems.
As part of Sweet Pea's birthday extravaganza we decided to 'upgrade' her room.
Meaning we made it look less like a little girl lives there and more like a tween's.
So for the past week Babe has been in IKEA hell world putting together her new bed, desk,dresser and new flat screen TV.
I plan on doing a whole post on that as we did some "Ikea hack" type customizations and even though its still a work in progress she seems to love it.
We haven't seen her since it's been completed. =)

I'm also excited as I'm attending The Makeup Show L.A. this weekend!!
Hooray for getting out of the house by myself and to being surrounded by Beauty Industry Insiders & Professionals!
Can't wait to see what they have in store!
And of course, it's March Madness so Babe and I have been watching college basketball all day.
It's kind of a tradition with us.
He gets very into it and is quite upset when a team loses and throws off his bracket.
I, of course, pick teams based on my gut feelings, their mascot/uniform colors/if I like the name I don't get too bummed out.
But I do LOVE it when I win.
Right now I'm winning.
It's killing him. (smile)

I promise to write more but it's been hard carving out designated blogging time but I am bound and determined to keep it up.
Just have to work on gathering my thoughts better.
I am awesomely witty at 3am but can't remember any of it by 8am.....bear with me.

So, what's new with you?

Monday, March 5, 2012


So now that you've read the birth story and my thoughts on the difference of a decade let's talk get down to the nitty gritty.
Ugh. Even the word sounds semi depressing doesn't it? But this is where I'm at.
Almost two weeks post delivery and my body is a constantly changing marvel. I am both amazed and dismayed at the way it's progressing. Being a normally physically active individual I have a hard time realizing that my body has limits and I have to rest and heal completely before I can begin to get my "sexy" back. I don't have delusions of grandeur about how that is going to be hard work but I really want to get to it!
I have a passion for fashion and I can't wait to re-organize my closet into one that works for me and my style and allows me to dress with ease and not have to wade my way through items I have no intention of ever wearing.
But right now I am stuck in limbo. 
I can only do so much each day and realize that I have put immense strain on my body with this baby and patience and recovery are all I have at this point.
My husband is personally awed by how I have bounced back (in some ways) so quickly. He kind of thinks I'm super woman and while that feels good, I know there are limits to how much my body can take each day.
I did leave the hospital in two days and felt pretty good after the surgery. But I simply chalk that up to good drugs. I am not afraid or ashamed to admit when I am in pain and can't do anymore.
That's helped a lot.
 Babe being home daily has also been a huge blessing.
He's taken over a fair share of my usual "duties" and is making sure I get enough rest and eat properly.
I am so blessed to have a husband like him.
We are still in the 'honeymoon' stage of postpartum where everything he does is cute.
Poops are hilarious and so is the accidental pee that occurs when his business is exposed to the air for too long during a diaper change.
We were a bit delirious the first few days and found ourselves cracking up over the slightest things in the wee morning hours.
I have never loved this man more than when he made me almost pee my pants in the middle of a diaper change as I was explaining to him how well "boudreaux's butt paste" was working on the diaper rash.
He thought I said "Lou Rawls" and that gave us a case of the silly giggles.
There is another part of the recovery process that people don't really talk about: the depression/ raging hormones.
You are crazy hormonal whilst pregnant and then completely euphoric upon delivery and then swing back to crazy lady about a week later.
I've found myself crying over commercials, getting emotional over perceived slights or digs and having to take a 'time out' in the bathroom to compose myself.
Writing has helped to combat this round of the post-baby-crazy as I like to call it. Having an outlet to purge my thoughts both real and irrational is great help to my sanity.
I have a strong desire to just get out of the house and go somewhere.
Anywhere at this point.
 But having a c-section has a troublesome downside: no driving for at least two weeks.
I'm stuck in the house and there is nothing I can really do about it.
I walked Sweet Pea around the corner on Saturday for a sleep over and that was bliss to get out, even if it was only for 15 minutes and it was blustery out.
Fortunately, my BFF Michelle came into town this week and I was able to spend to afternoons with her just sitting around the house, talking, catching up on life and laughing uncontrollably.
There is nothing like a little quality girl time to boost your spirits.
Even if it is on your couch and you're wearing sweat pants.
Actually most of my girlfriends have made it by in the past week and I've been able to feel a bit more like myself with each visit.
It's also helping that my legs no longer look like they are in sausage casings when wearing leggings and I can lean over and touch my toes to stretch out my calves.
I feel like ME again!
Not to mention that the cleavage situation. It is out of control!
I'd forgotten how breastfeeding affects the body and how my boobs were going to swell up beyond recognition. Not that I'm complaining. Quite the contrary. I hope they stay like this for quite some time.
It may put a damper on some of my wardrobe choices but boy oh boy will it make some of them look stellar!!
It's also helping that I am able to go back and recall things that I did with Sweet Pea that I wished I had done differently and am able to learn from that experience and move forward.
For the first time in a long time I am actually 'taking it easy' (well easy for me) and not trying to do everything myself.
I even let Babe do some laundry! Not mine of course.....but its a start!
I am excited to see what the next few weeks hold and stay tuned to hear more about my progress on operation "get back into my skinny jeans".
Which sounds really shallow when I think about it but it's really about getting back to me and getting comfortable in this role as mother of two.

Did any one thing work for you to get back into your pre-baby shape?
What helped make you feel like YOU again?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Birth of A Ninja......

Usually when I have to wait a long time for something it never really turns out the way I imagine it will. However, Monday was the grand exception.
I went to bed late Sunday evening knowing that the next day I would get to hold my son in my arms.
 I was excited but nervous. Praying for a swift surgery with no complications.
There were minor shades of fear and anxiety. 
A sense of trepidation knowing that in a few hours I would be cut open and my son pulled from my womb.
But, I prayed on it and gave it entirely up to God and took a deep breath.
When I woke up Monday, I felt a sense of calm and a bubbling of excitement. 
Today was THE day, our little man was on his way!
We arrived at the hospital in barely enough time for our 10:30am check in and were quickly pointed to the 3rd floor labor & delivery unit of St. Jude medical center.
I changed into a gown and then was quickly hooked up to several monitors and machines.

The nursing staff was absolutely lovely and made everything go smoothly. 
One of the L&D nurses and I began chatting about my love of crafting & projects and she asked if I knew about Pinterest and of course I said yes and showed her my subway art project from my phone.
My husband just shook his head in disbelief.
The next thing I knew it was time for me to go into the OR and get my spinal.
That's about the time I started to have some anxiety. I knew what was going to happen but was still carrying some nerves around about it so I said a quick prayer and waddled down the hall.
Being the amiable person I am,  the anesthesiologist and I chatted it up about a variety of subjects from Sweet Pea to how D and I met. 
There was Bossa Nova music playing and then my body went numb.
With my body splayed on the table completely exposed they brought in D and pulled up the curtain.
 It was time.
Talk about surreal, I remember laying there, talking to D trying not to panic and listing off all of the people who needed to be contacted immediately and then the next thing I knew I heard a squeal.
At 12:47pm my little man, Carson Riley entered the world and our lives were forever changed.

Once he was cleaned up Carson was whisked away to the recovery unit with D right by his side. After they put me back together again I would join them.
We were to scheduled to be in recovery for approximately 2hrs. 
That turned into just under 3 due to the computer systems being down earlier in the day. 
Once we were cleared to leave, the three of us and our nursing escorts made our way to the maternity ward.we barely got to the elevators when suddenly lights began to flash, sirens wailed and "code pink" was screeched across the intercom. Due to the earlier computer glitch, we had inadvertently set off the baby lo-jack alarm system. 
Elevators were locked down and security rushed on the scene demanding to see bracelets and the baby.
Of course I found it hilarious that we would be the ones to set off the alarms, but I was also heavily medicated so there's not a lot that wasn't funny to me.
We were finally able to get upstairs to the Maternity Unit and once we got settled in our room we had about 5 minutes of alone time before the family came in.
I was so happy to see my Sweet Pea and introduce her to her baby brother.
She had a grin from ear to ear and I had to fight back the tears seeing her hold him for the first time.

All I could think was "I have TWO babies now! How did this happen!?"
She was followed by my mother, my mother-in-love, and D's grandmother.
Then came two of his sisters, his niece and two nephew's.

Everyone was overjoyed to meet the newest edition to our family.
During all the hoopla I got a bit nauseous and dry heaved (causing one of my sisters-in-loves to vacate the room with a quickness) but quickly recovered.
The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur as I was somewhat out of it due to the drugs.
I do recall finally throwing up (God-bless my husband who handled it like a champ) and sipping ginger-ale for the rest of the night.
It was a rough night as I was still hooked up to the IV, had a catheter and the compression wraps on my legs.
However, our nurse was A-MAZING and a huge help.
The nursing staff at St.Jude was pretty awesome in general to honest. 
We could not have asked for a better experience.
The next two days were filled with visits from loved ones, vital signs being checked, and staring into the face of our newborn love.

I never thought I could love another the way I do my Sweet Pea.
It was hard for me to imagine feeling that way about another child and I suppose for a time I wouldn't allow myself to think that I could.
But I am so happy I did.
I am completely enamored with this kid. 
Cannot get enough of his sighs and caresses.
I stare at his face incessantly as though I am afraid this was all a dream and I will wake up and he will be gone.
Fortunately - this is my life now.

And I couldn't be happier.


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