You are deserving.

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Happy Mama's Day to all of the beautiful mother's out there, whether it be by adoption, surrogacy, sperm donor, or the good ole fashion way. 

You are amazing in who you are and what you do.  

There is nothing and no one that can ever take the place of a mother. 

There are many times that E has come home and tried to provide relief but J will always want me, there are moments that he isn't feeling great, or when he knows I will protect him {which is always}.

While in that exact moment it can feel defeating especially after very long days, I am so happy to experience these times with J.  The good, the bad, and the ugly which are few and less frequent than I probably make it seem. 

I am grateful and thankful that God chose me to be J's mom and while it can be difficult to navigate at times and it has been harder than I thought. It is by far the greatest thing I have ever done with my life.

Becoming a mother has given me all I have ever needed and or wanted in life. 

I am so thankful to all of the moms in my life, who have groomed me and helped me become a great mother. Without all of the great examples, advice and help I am not sure where I would be.  

I am thankful to be a mother, to be able to hold my son daily, to be able to feel his heart beating, to steal his kisses and to be called Mama all day long. 

You won't ever be thanked enough, or appreciated enough at times but you are!

Mama Moments

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a blog while I was looking for #mommybloggers like myself and found the Honest Mama Blog, written by Hannah and it was one of those findings that was the right time, right place type of thing.

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After reading most of the things she wrote, I  thought well maybe I should start a series here on my blog doing something similar.  Now I am no where near as great of a writer as Hannah and I entirely encourage you to read a lot of what she wrote because not only is it good writing but a lot of what she has to say isn't out there in the world. And us not-so-perfect Mama's need to hear it. 

The world has sugar-coated everything out there regarding Motherhood and made a lot of us feel like shitty mom's because our experience isn't what everyone says it would be/should be. 

Mothering at it's finest is hard. If you find a mom on social or in real life that is acting like her shit is together, she is doing just that acting. 

Now don't get me wrong motherhood has it's perks.  The moment when Jax says "mama", I am all weak in the knees in love, or when he cuddles me in the morning.  When he grabs my hand to walk down the stairs, or when he finds me in the middle of the night so he can lay next to me.  It is the absolute best feeling in the world and I am so grateful to be his mama. Absolutely grateful!

All of those plus much much more is the great part about being a mommy/parent.  But then you also have other moments that no one tells you about or they forget completely.  

And they leave you feeling like you should be walking around with a shirt that says world worst mom, ever! 

Because there are those moments where you are like "I am getting one thing from the store and then we will head back home", so you don't pack all of the things for the baby on your way out, like a change of clothes and he ends up somehow peeing through his diaper and all over his clothing. 

So instead of  the one thing, it turns into a bunch of things and you can never cleverly explain to your husband why you can never walk out of Target under $100 🤦🏽‍♀️

Moral of the story motherhood can be very hard at times and you need all the help and support you can get, my advice to you is take it. If they are offering more than likely they want to watch you little one, or they know what exhaustion looks like, feels like and honestly just want to help. 

Another note, the judgement from others has been there all your life and it just intensifies when you become a mommy, my recommendation is to develop thicker skin, or don't give a shit mentality, and you keep your head held high.

I just wanted to leave.

Many years back when we were trying to have a little one of our own I was taking mediciations, and while on the medicine I would get these very irrational hormonal spurts of emotion. 

They would make me cry and feel completely and utterly lost in my own emotions, it was just something where I felt like internally I couldn't figure out what I was doing with my life in that moment. It felt like a freight train was coming straight at me and I didn't know how to get off the track or if I even wanted to. 

I would get upset with E and I would just cry. Which if you know me personally I do get mad at E [lol] but crying isn't something that I do too often just out of the blue for no reason.

Once I was done with them my levels returned to normal and I felt great again. It was the oddest thing to me and E would seriously look at me like, what is wrong with you?  

Then recently after having J, I asked a friend about these "oils" she was always talking about. She had talked about them constantly on her social media and honestly I kind of thought of her as one of those crazy cat lady types, but she doesn't own cats.  

So in hopes of not coming off like one of those crazy cat lady kind of people I have kind of held back on talking about oils.

Sometimes, I feel like when people start talking about something on social it can seem like it's all about a sale.

And that's not it. 

It's about educating people on what you can use to help your body, mind, and maybe your soul too.

I recently tried this new oil in hope to potentially get my body ready for maybe baby #2 if that was something in our future. It took so long and so many years with J that while I am in no rush it would be great to be in a good place health wise for an "if it were to happen" kind of moment. 

For a while now my mental state hasn't been that great, it felt that their was potential for me to say that I was possibly bi-polar and maybe I should definitely try to find a therapist.

I am not a take medication type of person unless it is for extreme pain like my c-section so even when I had headache I would prefer to nap instead of pop a few Tylenol or Advil.  

I never thought for a moment that my mental state could be due to having J or a hormone imbalances I just thought life was throwing some hard stones and I would eventually bounce back.  

But once I saw the difference in my mentality after using a couple of drops of Progessence Plus I felt like a huge weight lifted off of me.

I wish I had started using it sooner. I immediately messaged my upline aka the girl who told me to try oils, and asked her is it possible? 

Is it possible for my cycle to start, is it possible for me to not feel or look bloated, is it possible for me to immediately feel like a better person? A better mom? 

And her response was it is totally possible. 😮 

Everyday with J was a struggle E would call and immediately I would be frustrated. I envied him, his alone time working two jobs, being able to sit alone in a car with no one to worry about, being able to use the bathroom without someone standing their like "mom?".

We fought a lot because I never felt like "l" mattered anymore. I never felt like I was me, anymore

J would do normal baby things, fuss, cry, throw a tantrum and I would just want to cry and sometimes I did. Not because he was doing things every mom wishes their child wouldn't do but because I couldn't handle it.  I would feel enraged inside and I would just want to close my eyes and scream. I tried my best to fight back all of it. But sometimes I would yell and be like "what?!?" and after I would immediately feel horrible. I felt like Dr. Jykell and Mr. Hyde 

After all these years of trying I felt like maybe it was just because I want supposed to have kids, I felt like a bad mom.  

Hormonally I was out of whack and I tried to hide it as best as possible but my marriage was suffering and I could totally see my self losing interest in a lot of things. 

If you have #PCOS you may know what I am talking about, if not think of it as a crazy psychotic bout of PMS. I literally had times where I wanted to just drop everything and leave.

I'd imagine myself on a solo road trip to absolutely no where. I remember messaging my best friend and being like I just want to get in a car and drive and never come back. 

It was hard, because I love J and I love E but it was really making me doubt myself as a women. As a married women who loves her child and her husband. 

So to feel the way I feel now and not share it with others who may be feeling the same exact way would be wrong on so many levels. I know I may not reach a ton of people with my writing but I do know there are a few of you out there that do read this and it may help you somehow.

And regardless of if you go get oils, or medication just make sure you are doing something about it for you.

Because you don't deserve to feel this way, no one does. 

It's hard for strong women to admit that they aren't strong, to cry, to feel hopeless and outside of control of their emotions. I feel like I am a pretty strong women. I have made mistakes in my life, I have had bad things happen to me, and I have found myself on the other side of them all happier and healthier. 

And I feel like maybe this is just another stepping stone in my life in order to share this with the people I know, the friends and family I love.  

I am not asking you to buy into any scheme or fill my pockets with money. I am asking you to take care of yourself.  

Oils are just the way that I do that. 

With love, 

V

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How to apply

1-2 drops on forearm twice a day, neat.  

It has helped me with:

Depression

Back pain

Cramping

Focus

Collins at Home: Unique Bathroom Storage

hello loves!

Today on the blog we are still doing a styling tip, but we are doing a home styling tip this week. 

Last year we had Tree Climber Creations build a few custom pieces for The Collins' House and when they brought the last of the items, April was kind enough to gift us a Honeycomb Nesting Shelves.  The come in three different sizes: Large, Medium, Small.

My initial thought was to put all three shelves in our half bath, but then I wasn't really diggin' the placement that I kept coming up with so I decided to just put up the Large Honeycomb Nesting Shelf in the half bath and find other great spots for the rest. And that is exactly what I did.

In the large shelf I rolled up my hand towels for this bathroom and set them inside. 

 

The smaller nesting shelf fit perfectly in the corner of my bathtub, where I needed to place all of my essential bath items: bath bombs, candles, and essential oils.  In the future I think I am going to get a really nice glass jar for my Epson Salt so that it will be easily accessible during bath times and also place it in this area.  I love that my bath bomb fits perfectly into the smaller shelf so I can remember to use them during my next bath time.  

Bath Bomb - @whippedupwonderful
Candle - @circle21candles <------ this candle smells so damn good! 

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Monthly Photo Round Up: February

hello loves!
So I am going to be honest here, while I had the entire month of March planned out I ended up taking some of those post and posting them in February so I need to fix some things.

But, I also didn't have a post ready and while I am sitting here at !:15a with a numb butt and partially falling off our king size bed, I in the spur of the moment came up with this great idea to do a monthly recap of last month photos.  

My idea is that I share images that were taken on my phone or Sony A6000 but wasn't shared on social, so only my blog readers can actually see them.  Plus this is a great way for me to recap what silly images I still keep in my phone and maybe encourage me to get rid of a few others.

I have a really bad habit of never deleting or backing up my phone so I have a ton of images on my phone that broke of J that I didn't save anywhere.  And I was the one preaching to everyone to back their photos up.  That didn't teach me any lessons and I lost a lot of photos, but take my advice and back your photos up to Google Photos or Amazon Prime if you already have a subscription, it is totally worth it.  

I do also want to start printing some of my iPhone photo.  If you have any that you have used like chatbooks, or whatever let me know I'd love to hear your feedback. 

Let's get into the photos of February from my iPhone.

I have some other ideas that I am thinking of too and maybe I'll post them on stories and get some feedback from y'all as well. If you don't follow me on instagram yet please do!  

 

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Feb 28// J at the park

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Feb 27// night time, bathroom lights shining through our bathroom doors.  

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J throwing a fit at the doctor's office 🤦🏽‍♀️ 

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Churros & Gringos

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I painted my own damn nails 

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Mom is it ever going to stop raining? 

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Main event

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the main event 

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How to Save on your Kid's Valentine Gifts

Learning from my tips to avoid paying $8 per kid for Valentine's Gifts

A long time ago when I was kid, my older brother would always come to my school with flowers and surprise me for Valentine's day and it was one of my favorite memories from my childhood days so I have always wanted to do something special like that for my niece's. 

The problem was by time I was able to afford to buy them something I had a job and I had to go to work during their school hours but now I am off and able to get to there school and visit, even if it is just a short period of time.  

So this year I made it a point to make sure I could get them something even if I can't deliver it to them at school because I don't think J would act remotely calm when he is around other kids. 

Where to go?

If you are a Target kid [aka adult age women that wonders around Target aimlessly in search of everything and nothing at the same time.], then you know all about their dollar section but this year after I picked up all these cute things in the dollar section I made it to their Valentine section and found a bunch of really cute things that were much better budget options than what I found in their dollar section.

TIP: Don't just go to where you think you will find the budget stuff, clearance sections, sales, etc., are also great places to find things. I feel like you have to think outside of the box because a lot of people will always gravitate towards the easy and the known. 

Also don't wait last minute then hit yourself on the head later on wondering why you couldn't find anything on a budget.

How to Save on your Kids Valentine's
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How to Buy

The Target dollar section gets you in two ways, it is at the front of each store and by only giving you one item at a time at a dollar.  The dollar section got me this time but next time I definitely know to look past the dollar section and make my way around the store. 

Your better option is to buy multiple items at a lower price and then divide them up.

For instance, the pack of pencils down there was $3 dollars for 16 pencils which ends up being about .18 cents for each pencil. There was also a pack of bubbles in hearts, 4 for a $1 - each costing .25 cents.  

The dollar section also had smaller bags at 2 for $1, then I found 8 for $2 once again .25 cents per bag!

Tip: Buying in bulk is good for your household as it is in gifting as well! 

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Stock up

Lastly, if you find stuff on sale stock up for the next year.  Buy totes or boxes and keep things for the next year.  I wish I had time after Christmas to go back to the store and stock up on Christmas Decor but I know that some or most items can be very cheap after the holiday or the day before it is to happen. 

If you have the space to spare in your house, totally stock up on items that won't expire and you can use next year.  The dollar store even has small totes for a $1.  

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I hope you loves found this post, helpful.  I know I shop at Target a lot and I am always looking for ways to save money. If you have any tips or tricks you would like to add to this post, please put them in the comments below.  

Have a wonderful rest of your week!  Love y'all! 

Kid's Valentines Crafts on Budget

My Go - To Children's App

Hey loves! Happy Tuesday.

A few weeks ago I posted about Dave and Ava on my instastories.  I wanted to put it out there first to see who would have what to say about mothering with electronics. I was on the fence about writing this because I know there are a lot of mom's who are against the early use of electronics in their child's life, which I completely understand and on occasion agree with.  Too much too soon can halt any other kind of use of real books, real interaction with parents, family and other kids. 

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But I love this app because I have been able to brush my teeth, shower and use the bathroom without having J as a permanent attachment to my body, and no all of these weren't done in one sitting. Moderation folks, moderation

J is super attached to me when we are home, he is my little shadow everywhere I go, and now that he is walking/running we are constantly trying to keep him occupied. Often we try to use something sensory driven like blocks, flash cards or toys. But sometimes he wants more, so we turn to Dave and Ava.  

When I used to work I would always spend time watching dance videos I love music and I love to dance so of course when I started staying home with J we started watching them together. He started to love dancing and it was something we would do together at the house and now at the grocery store whatever occupies his attention. He loves to dance his current favorite is Camila Cabello's "Havana" it really gets him going.

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Then J and I would have these great dance battles, kids got some moves and one day I was looking for some lullaby music to help him fall asleep when his favorite lullaby toy batteries went out.

I happened to see Dave and Ava and the rest was history. We listened and watched one and J picked up on it quickly. We mostly watched it on YouTube but once it would get stuck on his iPad in the car to the "skip ad" part and he would get mad I knew it was time to just get the paid version. It is 19.99 but it is for the life of however long your little one is interested in it, you don't have any in-app purchases to get more videos and they are constantly adding new ones. 

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They also do holiday themed inspired videos, so when it is Halloween Dave and Ava are dressed up, etc.

It is really nice that they incorporate that into the video because the kids can understand them earlier too. 

There are captions so parents know what is coming next so they can sing along or join in. There are a lot of nursery rhymes but there are also a lot of educational songs, kids can learn their ABCs, 123's and colors too.  J will ask to watch it every morning and is ready for them on his car rides, although I may be cutting back on how often we are watching Dave and Ava, to when we are in the car just because we are getting into books, flash cards, etc.

I do still plan to research more things that J and I can do togethwe once in warms up more here I want to start taking him on walks and not be inside so much.  

Dave and Ava has been a tremendous help when you need to do the dishes, put laundry in, take a shower, drink hot coffee and for a few minutes feel like a normal human again. 

If you guys want to know more about Dave and Ava, please comment or message me on social media I am very happy to share more.

Of course, not every baby or child will like it so I would recommend using the YouTube version to share with your little one first before purchasing.  

I'm feeling 32

Turning 32

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Wow! y'all today I turn 32!

At some point last year I guess between having a baby and becoming a sahm I lost an entire year of my life. I somehow didn't remember turning 31 and still thought for most of the year I was 30. Time flies, you don't necessarily have to be having fun. 

With that said the past year has taught me a lot!

Lesson learned:

It has taught me that karma is indeed a bitch.

People will lose interest in you

You will lose yourself. 

Life will continue without you. 

Hard times, good times and all the in-between will come at you like a freight train, whether you like it or not.

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People you didn't think were there for you are, people that you did aren't.  

Post-partum depression has nothing to do with how much you love your child.  And you have no control over it. 

Loving your child has nothing to do with how much you love your husband. 

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Taking time for yourself isn't selfish, it's self-care nothing works well without maintenance. 

You will have to learn all over again how to date, even if it is the man you started dating 12 years ago and married 7.  

Resting Bitch Face is common, you aren't alone.

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Motherhood is a job for which you never get paid by monetary value, nor will some ever know your true worth. "Aint no women alive that could take my Mama's place" - Tupac

Regardless of how exceptionally dressed you are, your child will throw a tantrum anywhere, anytime. No fucks given.  

Your child will love you more than any toy, clothes, or cartoon character. Be present

Note to self:

I recently watched a YouTube video by Kalynn Nichols where she said something along the lines of no matter what the year had in store for you goods or bad, it taught you something and therefore be grateful it happened.

Not in those exact shitty words but you get the jist of what I am saying. 

A lot of incredibly shitty things happened to me last year, a lot of incredibly amazing things happened for me last year.

The great thing about living is the ability to have another year to mend relationships, have more babies, love better, dance more, travel often, eat well, and love life. 

So cheers year 32, let's see what you've got for me.   

Self Love + Body Goals

hello there, loves!

2018 

It is officially 2018 and whilst I have been under the weather and so had J, the other day I had a moment where I stopped and looked at myself in the mirror and was kind of in a little bit of a shock/awe state. I was genuinely amazed at all my body has gone through and while I know it is less than most, and more than some it doesn't take away what it has accomplished. 

I have to put in kind of a disclaimer here, this year's body goals are simply to eat better, and live better than last year.  I am in no way shape or form going to put some ideal image in my head in hopes of being a thinner me, I simply want to enjoy the body I have by eating better when possible, and doing more with life in general. 

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I guess it's kind of inevitable to put up one of these post for the new year, and yeah I'll probably do the whole new year, new me thing but I wanted to put out there how exceptionally proud I am of my body. 

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Not only did it grow a baby, but it was sliced open to bring that beautiful, amazing, miracle of ours into this world and I don't think I have ever been so thankful of my body in it's state as it is today. I have the worst posture, I know. 

I stretched y'all my skin hung and looked gross for a while there and there were days I was like ugh, who wants to see this naked?  I had developed this bump of "skin" I guess from J sitting so low my entire pregnancy and I thought it would never go away. I didn't think I would look good in lingerie, or a bikini ever again. And maybe I don't but I am still going to rock the hell out of them.  

I struggled with self-confidence for all of my life, I hated being in front of the camera and I hated my smile [I still want braces], and I was never, ever the girl who got the guy [with the exception of E]. 

BODY GOALS

This year my body goal isn't to necessarily lose weight but to eat better as much as possible, to run more because it is my best stress reliever and I really do love it, and to just tone my body if I can. Plus can I get my booty back? I lost that thing mid pregnancy and haven't found it yet. 🤦🏽‍♀️

NOTE TO SELF:

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My one tip for myself and you as well is to do as much as you possibly can without making it too hard on yourself because once you start making this a job or something else to do on your list you will grow to hate it, and your goals will get tossed to the side and you'll be left as you were by March or sooner. My plan is to do better this year, I just know that there is a better me out there I just have to get rid of a lot of shit. 

CURRENTLY READING

I am also currently reading  "Get Your Shit Together" by Sarah Knight, I literally just started but I love it so far.  And while I am already feeling like I am going to accomplish great things this year.