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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A budget for your pregnancy Pt 2: Beauty!

As your body grows and starts to change you still want to feel good about yourself don't you?

Of course!!

Your beauty routine for day in and day out may change as your hormones will most likely be changing your skin, hair, nails and physical appearance. Something that's not always easy for us ladies.
Well, is it ever when those changes are really drastic?
Not usually.

Being an Aesthetician I found myself researching and analyzing each change seeing as pregnancy books aren't too detailed and some don't offer the best advice when it comes to our skin and it's sometimes vast changes... One said to avoid scrubs and masks to lessen irritation. Well, if you use the wrong types you will cause some angry skin issues for sure! However, with the correct type it'll be quite the opposite and you'll have happy results vs unpleasant.

Let's dig in shall we?

Pregnancy beauty budget 101:

** Is your current skin care routine working? 


Not unusual at all :)

If you're breaking out, it may be time to invest in some acne safe products to help balance out your skin topically. Many acne products use ingredients such as Salicylic Acid (BHA Beta Hydroxy Acid) or Retinol A commonly used for treating various types of acne and these should be avoided!
A couple other commonly used and that should be avoided are,
Benzoyl Peroxide, Accutane, and Hydrocortisone.

Search out as natural and as organic as possible!

**But be warned, not all natural and organic can be used...
Some essential oils used to treat acne aren't safe for pregnancy.

The one company I like to use Juice Beauty has a pregnancy safe kit you can buy that's about $216.
Which is awesome but kinda expensive if you're trying to stay low key for other items needed. 
Either way you're probably looking at something around $100 or above if you're really wanting to care for your changing skin.

I had to devise a totally new way to take off my makeup at night and revamp some of my products.
(My new pre cleanse routine for removing my makeup! It's been a true skin saver this pregnancy!)

I went to websites like and found great ways to save money on my skin care as well! That's what I use for nearly every product I have right now other than a few things that turned out cheaper at Target or that the website didn't have that Target did. (I'm trying to avoid Wally World when I can help it!)

And the same goes with if you're skin is feeling dehydrated vs hydrated now. There are things you may need to look into...You might need to not only amp up the water (Which is a HUGE thing we know during pregnancy) but you may need some serums and moisturizers to help feed your skin doubly during this hormonal time. Again, I find that either Juice Beauty or has some of the best options/deals!

I can't put a price tag on what I've spent because I've probably spent a little more than planned only because I was really into researching and set on finding something that would help! I'm pleased to say I did and have a renewed confidence in how my skin's looking these days vs when I first started out.

The highest I paid for an item?
I can tell you that!
Nothing over $40 was my rule.
And when you know how to research or who to talk to for all the deals/savings can get even better!

** But my body needs some TLC too!

SO true and here are just a couple things you can do to help...

Any lotion containing the following ingredients are awesome for a pregnant woman's body! And what you want are both lotions and oils right now. Esp since your skin is about to do a lot of stretching and it's not always in your belly... Weight gain and water retention can contribute to those little things we call stretch marks. (Not to mention genetics don't always help) They can appear on your upper arms, belly, bottom, breasts and legs. But there are ways to either avoid or lessen them, even help heal your skin to it's best possible condition afterwards by using these following ingredient infused lotions and/or oils. Vitamin E, Coconut Oil, CoCo Butter, Shea Butter, Olive Oil are wonderful for you! I picked two just to keep things really simple, I went with the vitamin e and coconut oil. Both provide me intense hydration and they don't break the bank!
I pay under $20 for both.

Ingredients to avoid are sometimes hard on a tight budget because you really don't want to spent double digits on an 8 oz bottle of lotion do you? But there are ways to stay healthy non-the-less! Try to avoid anything with Parabens, Phthalates, Mineral Oil, 1 4 Dioxane, Bleach, Synthetic fragrances etc.

** You mentioned makeup removal but failed to mention makeup!

My rules are simple.

Keep it under $15 for your foundation and don't let your routine become anymore detailed than what you truly want it to be! I have become so lazy I just don't feel like doing much right now so all I use is a tinted moisturizer (when I'm needing to go somewhere and I want more coverage), powdered spf 30, concealer, blush and mascara. Simple and satisfying!

I avoid the following ingredients... Talc, Bismuth Oxychloride as my 2 biggest!
But there's more to keep away from

If I'm feeling sassy and in need of something extra I have fallen in love with those black marker-like eye liners for doing my pinup or even just a real simple lash enhancement line across my lid. They save me time, mess and they wash off MUCH faster than any gel liner I've ever used!

That's my little extra fun thing I will never live w/out again :)
That and a nude-ish pink lip liner to help polish off my sometimes very tired self!

** Hair care!

This has been my lax side of things... I really wish I could tell you I'm not using something with sulfates or a synthetic fragrance in it but, ugh, not so... I have gone the super cheap route as I just couldn't get myself to spend more than $3 a bottle haha I just make sure I don't wash my hair every day if I can help it, I don't get it in my eyes and I try to wash and rinse as fast as possible! But if you do want to avoid a key thing or two try to avoid any sulfates, synthetic fragrances, dyes etc...

I've only had my hair colored twice and the first round I waited till my 2nd trimester for pictures and the second I had done so my hair looks refreshed for baby when he comes! In general, I'd say not to dye or to make it as far between apts as possible and never do it in the 1st trimester. Make sure the area has good air flow too so you can avoid those fumes as much as possible.

** Nails!

Avoid anything with strong fumes for the 1st trimester if you can and make sure if you decide to have them done that there's air flow for that as well! But do treat yourself to mani's and pedi's as they will do more for you than you ever thought possible. :) I've been a pedi girl this pregnancy!

And just remember cuticle oil and hand lotion! 
My hands have been SO dry this pregnancy and those are 2 thing I always have in my purse.

Well, that's my breakdown for what I think or feel is valuable to a woman when she's pregnant and needing some beauty updates or changes. Hope that helped and I didn't confuse you too much ;) My train of thought seems to become more and more fuzzy as I get closer to my due date. So close now!!!

Have a wonderful evening,
Shannon <3 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

When a family member dies...

Today marks a very key moment in the history of my pregnancy...

My Gram passed away at 11:54 a.m. peacefully with us beside her assuring her of our love and how it was okay to let go. That it was okay to go home to Jesus and go be with my Grandfather, he was waiting for her and couldn't wait to take her dancing again! She loved to Jitterbug :) 

I have been bedside with many people but had never been there when they passed, this was a first. I am so blessed to have watched God's hand come down and take her so quietly. That was our prayer, to go in peace. You don't always get that when their lungs begin to fill with fluid.
We count ourselves truly blessed. 

The nurses found her early this morning with a fever of 104 and the realization she had developed more than just a chest cold and a UTI. She couldn't express the discomfort she was in as she had advanced dementia and it had rendered her without words, the desire to eat was gone and she no longer knew who anybody was. However, she did always have a tender smile when I told her about the baby... She rubbed my tummy the last time I saw her and smiled. The only smile we could get out of her came from the idea of this precious unborn baby. If that isn't God's grace I don't know what is!

My Gram was baby crazy!
She would always, ALWAYS be asking my husband and myself when we planned on having a baby and we always would say later, not yet. Little did when know it was right around the bend! When she learned she was going to be a Great-Grandmother (Again, I believe there are 3 before our little guy) it instantly brightened her day and gave her something to look forward to when I would go see her. I'll never forget when she told me she thought I gained too much weight! I guess you put a belly on a small frame and it looks massive to some. That moment has always made me smile. 

Something inside always told me she'd go before the baby and I knew it meant I wouldn't be able to fly back for the funeral. God gave me the gift of being with her as she passed so I was able to have closure. My parents will be flying back to attend and help with the funeral and my sister will stay behind to be with me as my husband works long hours and she has shorter. This will be awesome just in case baby comes a little early. However my mom has told this little one to wait till they come back. 

It's a relief to know she's in heaven free and able to be the woman she's always dreamed of being!
She was 85 years old.

Gram with me on the day I got married

I loved my Gram and will miss her dearly!
What an amazing thing to realize I'll see her again on the other side.

Betty (Grammie)
One of my favorite pictures from 2010, Christmas Eve...
She LOVED sweets, I snapped this photo while she was sneaking some before dinner.

Betty went home to be with God and is finally free!


Shannon <3 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A budget for your pregnancy Pt 1: The Basics!

Starting at a very early age we begin to dream in our little hearts of what we want for our lives...

Most little girls start dreaming of their prince coming to sweep them off their feet, getting down on one knee and give them a gorgeous ring and then start planning the perfect wedding! Other thoughts that dance around our heads are plans of one day starting a family and having children of our own. The feeling of our own babies in our arms and the intoxication of drinking in their scent and dazzling over their little hands and feet. A baby is one of those moments in our lives we will never, ever, ever forget!!!

But it costs to be pregnant and have a baby doesn't it?

I don't think we always think of those costs when we decide it's time to start a family...

I didn't.

A few costs kinda snuck up on me... Great learning experience, that's for darn sure!

Let's start with the basics:

**Pregnancy tests.
You will most likely buy a few for home and keep them there but you'll also want to have it confirmed with a blood test. The cost of this really depends on location, insurance coverage or lack of coverage. Will you also be seeking to have it expanded to guess your current state of gestation?
$50.00 +

Congratulations!!! You're going to be a mommy!!!

**Are you planning to stay with your OB, a midwife who works in a hospital or one that does births out of home? Again, you're looking at insurance coverage or lack of coverage. This will include visits, ultra sounds, blood work and any other test you or your provider may or may not want/need you to have. 
$2,000 + 
(Or under)

**But your body is about to change in such drastic ways... Ways you didn't even know possible!
Are you planning on using any massage therapy or chiropractic care to help keep your body conditioned for birth? These methods when used properly can help not only cut down pain and laboring time (usually), they also create a healthier pregnancy for both you and baby. Massage is usually paid out of pocket unless they're part of a chiropractic office and both may be covered by some (Not all) insurance. 
For chiro alone (Which I HIGHLY recommend!!) your cost may or may not start at,
$450.00 and this is based off a package deal. 

You're now pretty set for some big physical help to guide you through this amazing time but you're still forgetting a key factor... Your vitamins!

**You'll be needing at least a Prenatal and DHA supplement.
You may or may not need extra iron, calcium or vitamin C etc... This is what they'll help you figure out in your blood work. A lot of what you'll be needing on top of your supplements will be in your diet, can't just rely on those vitamins to feed and grow your bundle! You need nutrition in what you eat to double what you take in pill form. This will also depend on location of purchase, size and what you can afford. 
Let's start low... And no, low cost doesn't mean terrible product.
$10.00 per bottle +

**Your food budget probably will go up as you deal with the special needs of morning sickness, cravings and additional needs. So factor that in as well. Just keep track of healthy cravings vs not so healthy and look for local co-ops such as Bountiful Baskets to help you get fresh produce, grains and other needed things for a growing belly/household!

These are a big deal when having a baby!

We don't always think of what it takes for us to have a healthy pregnancy and these are key factors that help keep both you and baby strong. It's really smart to think of these things before you get pregnant. Or if you're like me you didn't quite plan on getting pregnant so soon and some of these things snuck up on you! Esp if you decided to fire your OB and go a more holistic rout, insurance doesn't always cover that or at least all of it. The blessing for us is any lab work or medical shots are covered! 
(Rh factor for myself, it's not a vaccination. It's a treatment.)  
Praise God because lab work isn't always cheap!!

Keep an eye out for Pt 2 coming soon :)
Thought of and maybe not so thought of beauty basics for your changing body...

Have a glorious day,
Shannon <3 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Third Trimester Pampering!

So by this stage you may not feel so attractive, energetic or very clear when it comes to thinking...

You might be looking over your grown body and thinking things like,
"Those aren't my legs or my butt!"
"I miss my ability to bend over and get it myself..."
"When will I be able to roll over in bed and NOT grunt or groan?"
"My feet are kiiiillling meeee!"
"I want to get comfy so my husband can massage my back better but I have this mellon in my way..."
"Have I always looked this way when I wake up in the morning? *gasp*"

Yes, you are a 3rd tri mommy-to-be!

However, your husband is probably still looking at you and your body with adoring eyes and saying how gorgeous you are and that he loves the changes and knows you'll need some emotional support to get back into your pre baby jeans when you're tired and frustrated they didn't just snug back on a week afterwards. Those thoughts seem to start sneaking their way into your mind the closer your due date comes. You begin to think over things and process your plan of attack but won't know exactly what that looks like till after you've had your little bundle and you see how you're feeling. I've been reminding myself to simply take it one day at a time after our son comes. I know there will be days of frustration but I also know it's not impossible! I refuse to kill myself because rest is vital after baby and without that rest I won't heal properly and I won't have the proper energy I need as a new mom. 

I've been trying to plan out a way to pamper myself before and after baby for over a month now and have finally come up with some options for us pregnant or one day in the future pregnant mommies!

Here is what I've come up with:

1. Don't stress out on the little things! They will get done when they get done.

2. Drink water and if you doubt how much you've had have 2 more glasses or bottles. 
You'll feel much better!

3. Try your best to keep your diet in line. 
It's so hard not to "cheat" these last several weeks because you're beyond ready to be done!

4. Plan out beauty apts for the last month of pregnancy!

a. Have your hair redone or changed up a bit for a fresh feeling/outlook...

b. Have a mani/pedi so you feel a little more "put together" when you go into labor...

c. Get a facial or massage or both!

5. See if there's anything in your current at home skincare/body care routine that could use some updating. This is also vital! You may not be sleeping much for the first month or so and some extra help in the healing/preservation process wouldn't hurt.

A new nightly moisturizer
Intensive eye cream
Healing treatments/oils for your skin/body
Hydrating shampoo & conditioner to help with post birth hair
Some new concealer and mascara for brighter eyes and blush for cheek color

6. As you asked for those special snacks when pregnant, ask for them again after to help boost your mood/energy levels. ESP if they're healthy!
(Mine is a berry cup from the store!! SO YUM!!)

7. Consider placenta encapsulation for hormonal help/healing post baby.

8. Buy yourself a few new clothing items even if it's just underwear and yoga pants!

9. If you need more than one bath or shower a day to feel refreshed, do it!

10. Keep away from negative people and online drama as much as possible, this is mental pampering and you will need it more than ever now! If somebody pisses you off you tend to feel it tenfold even when you're not trying to take it personally. Keep things around you as calm as possible, esp since now is when you'll feel Braxton Hicks or a sudden drop in blood sugar or energy if you get too upset.

I have invested in a few home skin products so I probbly won't treat myself to a facial or massage but am dying to have these treatments, not gonna lie... You also have to budget out what you is doable for you and your family, for me it'll be a couple more pedi's and my hair! (I need to see a change on top of my head!) For now I'm happy to have a new chiro that's helping take most of my back pain away and is helping me keep things relaxed these last 4 weeks of pregnancy! 

Current hair 01/07/2013

I've also been trying to spend more time praying when I wake up at night. This time of pregnancy you might feel things stirring in your heart and praying is the only thing that calms me. That and asking my husband to hold me close, his arms and warmth are a heavenly blessing! 

These are things to consider and I'm not you HAVE to do them all.
Heck, put your own list together! This is your life and your body after all :)

Have a glorious rest of your day,
Shannon <3 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"We're in the home stretch Hunny!"

**Based off of 01/03/2013**

I needed to hear this from my husband last night as I was BEYOND uncomfortable, felt really off, had some intense Braxton Hicks, couldn't eat much because I felt sick etc... It was a rough night before I got into bed. My husband said he hates seeing me like that but gets excited because he knows baby is almost ready to come. I agree! However miserable I was it did bring hope that things are almost done, as I am VERY ready!!! It's a daily thought and I will often have to stop and pray my way through tough moments of just all around yuck. Nothing beats a trip to Wally World while having Braxton  Hicks and being around grumpy people.... They don't really hurt per say as much as they are a thorn in the side and you just want that "wringing" feeling to stop while you're around so many people.

Hearing the words, "We're in the home stretch Hunny!" from my husband is such a HUGE help!

Here's an odd thing about the 3rd trimester and feeling off....

You have 2 ways of responding to it:

a. You're just so out of it all you can literally do is chill. Nothing else. Any task is too much!

b. You're out of it but you have to get out and walk or you need to at least get something small done around the house.

I was b. yesterday, total yuck but couldn't sit still. In a way getting out helps.
I didn't go out alone, I went out with mom for a bit and it was really nice to have a woman to talk with. At this stage of the game going out alone when you feel off just isn't a smart move.

My son was VERY active and that wasn't always comfy but I wouldn't change it for the world because it indicates he's healthy. I felt instantly better once in bed and watching my husband's face light up as he felt our little one roll around and respond to his daddy's voice.
It's the little things that change everything!

I'm reminding myself that even though it feels like my belly is about to fall off when I walk (esp since he's started to drop) and I'll start to feel more and more weird as the weeks count down to labor, I am reminded of God's design for a woman's body and how we never really know what we'll really feel until we're there. You know in your heart if it's your body prepping or if something's wrong. The thing to not let your head do is freak out, baaaad move! Trust your gut. I believe part of my feeling so off is due to the fact my body is now producing very small amounts of colostrum.
Hello newest onset of hormones!

5 weeks and counting......
Here's praying it's 5 weeks or less haha
I really want a healthy baby who's ready when he's ready so I tell him,
"No, rush. But yeah, hurry up and finish baking!! Don't come early on account of what Mommy wants! We want you safe and if that means a whole 5 weeks. Oi. That means 5 more weeks."

Shannon <3

Thursday, January 3, 2013

3rd Trimester!!!

I always thought a woman in her 3rd tri looked uncomfortable but I had yet to actually feel it...

My goodness! 

Let's first cover food and appetite:

I've noticed mine is hit and miss, I guess my mom's was too by this time.
The annoying thing is sometimes you have to force yourself to eat seeing as the baby is now developing his chub. You don't want to compromise their body weight! Now, I've had to force myself each trimester at some point..Def never fully lost the "yuck" however mild. Praise God!! As I mentioned, hormone surges ALWAYS had me fighting the idea of food. Nothing usually sounded great those days but I always found something to eat. I'm not a huge meat eater and it's showing me how I'm needing to get creative on certain nutritional levels because you need SO much more protein now vs when you're not pregnant. I've learned Greek yogurt, almonds and dried fruits rich in the color red etc are awesome foods for boosting protein intake! A day low on protein is one yucky day indeed.

In your 3rd trimester you need more calcium, vitamin c and yes, protein! 
Not to mention keeping up with water. 80 oz +

35 weeks :)

Tired one day and energized the next:

 If I have an energy burst I need to watch myself cause I will overdo it and then my back is shot and that's just not a fun thing! My husband gets on me about this and rightly so. The nesting instinct makes it hard to slow down some days if I have the desire to go and not stop! 

Lack of sleep is another killer during this time.
You're getting bigger so you have to have a pillow for your back, under your tummy and between your legs! If it's not seeking comfort from pillows you might be praying for your back to unlock and stop whacking out on you... I had a heating pad I used but it died sooo I've been def trying to figure out how to ease that discomfort. A husband who's willing to rub is always a bonus and warm baths right before bed are even more addicting these days, the water calls your name more and more the bigger you get! It's heaven in the tub with bubbles and candles :) Also a heated rice sock has been a new friend vs the cold one I use for headaches.

 We keep learning how that car wreck the summer before last really did a number on my poor body. (Esp since I was still regaining ground in workouts before I got pregnant...)
We have been blessed with a wonderful chiro my midwife suggested and his passion is to work with pregnancy. My goodness has he been a life saver!! I had another I was seeing but this guy has built part of his job around pregnancy and all that entails. 

A product called Natural Calm that can be bought at most health food markets is a blessing for RLS (Restless leg syndrome) This stuff tastes pretty good too and it's fizzy, which I like.
(Can be had cold or warm.)

The bathroom is now one of your best friends and sometimes it's an emergency situation where you have to pull off at a gas station just to go pee. Or you're sprinting to reach it there in time. 

Back to that nesting instinct:

When it hits...

Suddenly things you've been putting off or that have been on the back burner become a full frontal focus that consumes your mind daily and sometimes you wake up thinking about it. The asking for more and more help gets old pretty fast but you need to think of that little bundle inside! 

It's a joy to put things together and plan out the design/colors, what you need etc!!!

Oh the hormones of it all:

If you didn't feel too hormonally emotional during the first 2 trimesters you may be feeling REALLY it now! My emotions have been pretty even keel this entire pregnancy and that has been so awesome. Another praise God!!


This 3rd hit and suddenly almost, (not always) everything makes me cry. What the heck?!
I'm not a huge crier to start off with so this is really odd for me. Poor husband looks confused but always has a hug an kiss right there waiting! You also may get angry or annoyed quickly for no good reason and that too makes you scratch your head... "Why the heck did that piss me off so much??"

Making sure plans are in place:

Now is the time to nail down any plans you have to make for you and your coming baby!!

1. Finding a reputable doctor for the baby.
And do they support your choice to vaccinate/not vaccinate or selective vaccinate?

2. Do you have a birth plan in place?
(This is esp good f you're planning a hospital birth.
We will have one set up for if we have to go due to any emergency.)

3. Do you have everything you need in order to have this baby not not freak out over something not being done or bought etc... All the major things at least. A few small things left undone is okay, ask for help for that stuff if you honestly can't do it before baby comes!

4. If you're having a home birth do you have all your supplies?
If it's a hospital birth do you have your bag ready(With birth plan in print and copies made)?

5. Have you researched how you plan on doing diapers?

a. Most disposable have a lot of junk in them that create health issues, rashes etc... Look into safer options which are out there for disposable but they will def raise the cost of things.

b. If you're planning on going the cloth rout, research and ask around for what people find to work best and what will fit your particular lifestyle.

6. Do you have nursing bras that fit for both night and day?
And do you have a small box of nursing pads put away just in case you start leaking pre baby.
Not to mention having some for day 3 when the milk comes in post baby is also a good idea!

7. Do you have meals frozen + lined up to be brought when you give birth?
In reality you'll only need meals for 2 weeks if all goes smoothly. Start prepping some meals and freezing them now and find somebody to organize the other meals you'll be needing!
You should not be doing all of this, you have a baby to prep for.

8. Make sure people know if you're planning on visitors or having them turned away for X amount of days/weeks. Yes, you will prob need to remind them a few times but this is time for you to get into routine and recover! Don't feel pressure to have people come right away.

9. Have you lined up pre baby pampering for yourself??
This is key!!
Get your hair done, a massage, a pedi and mani!
You OWE yourself, it's been a long road and you've waited so long to have this baby...
Make yourself feel gorgeous for that day when your baby makes their grand entrance :)

I see this has turned into quite the book so I'll stop myself here.
I have so much more I could say but I dare not over due it, as  I may have already ;)

I am overjoyed my time being pregnant is coming to a close as I just can't wait to hold my son!!!

Have a wonderful evening, 
Shannon <3