Fresh Face

Being a Master Esthetician, I get this question a LOT: What can I do to make my skin look better? Unless they have mentioned specific skin needs to me, 99% of the time I give the same answer. Its what I do (or try to do) and it works for me! A lot of it is common knowledge and you’ve surely been hearing it since you were a little kid – but thats because it really does work! So in case you needed a refresher on those frequently repeated facts, here is a simple guide on how to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh, beautiful and youthful.

Drink Water: This is good for you for a plethora of reasons, but one of those reasons is that it keeps your skin so youthful, soft, healthy and clean. My husband is the most perfect example of this. He is older than anyone ever guesses he is. If people are guessing his age they are always guessing he is 5+ (no joke) years younger than he actually is and thats not just because he is still a kid at heart. It is because that man guzzles water like its going out of style every single day. He never has acne, his skin isn’t oily and it isn’t dry, its smooth, soft and so healthy and I know its because of the water he drinks (and that he’s awesome and washes, moisturizes, sunscreens and cares for his face).

Get Enough Sleep: Beauty sleep is a real thing, people. While you sleep your skin is being repaired and cared for by your own body. The more sleep you get, the more TLC your skin gets. The less sleep…you get the picture.

Wear Sunscreen: I could write a 600 page novel on this topic. Wear. Your. Sunscreen!! I don’t care if you tan and never burn. I don’t care if its cloudy outside. I don’t care if its October and you burn more in the Summer. Wear your sunscreen!! The simple truth is, if the sun is out, hidden by clouds or not, it is shining and its rays are touching you – yes you – no one is immune from this. Unless you want to look like an old, wrinkly piece of leather when you’re older then you should be doing everything in your power to protect your precious skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

Take Your Make Up Off: Your skin needs a chance to breathe, free of any heavy products (such as make up). Sleeping with a clean face is helping aid in your quest to look younger for longer. I had an instructor tell me in Esthetic school once that sleeping with your make up on is giving your skin permission to speed up the aging process. Why would anyone want that, you know? So although you may be tired or lazy, I promise the extra step will be worth it. Your future, older self will thank you for this.

Wear Moisturizer: Your skin needs this. Just like everything else I’ve talked about, it is another vital step in keeping your skin healthy, strong, smooth and clear. I am particularly fond of moisturizers with SPF in them during the day and really love a good, thick moisturizer for night time.

See? How easy is that!! Of course there are other, more in-depth tips and tricks (that I’d be happy to post about if thats something you’d like..) but these are the basics and I promise if you use them there will be a difference in your pretty little faces.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

A Force for Good

I am just one person, but I can make people happy. I can put a smile on someones face. I can serve someone in need. I can offer a kind compliment. I can listen to someone who needs to talk. I can be a helping hand. I can love and pray for others.

I can be a force for good.

The other day I was laying in bed and my mind turned to all the tragedy, heartache and evil happening around the world. I had said to my husband I hate that it feels like you can’t get on Social Media or the internet without seeing/hearing news of another horrible tragedy. Then my mind started turning towards myself – what can I do to help? Ok, realistically I can’t do anything that will help, but I can put positivity out there instead of negativity. As a blogger and avid Twitter and Instagram poster, I can make sure my content is happy. I can try to post things that put a smile on peoples faces and a little joy into their hearts rather than the gut-wrenching news thats so easy to find, lately. I obviously cannot guarantee you won’t still see the bad, sad stuff, but I can at least be something positive.

I can be a force for good!

I can’t save the world. I can’t change the world. But I can be a little light in the world. My tiny corner of the internet, my home, my friendship, my family, my example, my attitude, my advice, my interactions with others – all can be a light in a darkening world.

I can be a force for good!

A couple weeks ago my cousin left on his LDS Mission and in his farewell talk he said something that really stuck out to me. He said, “Wherever we stand, we can choose to turns towards God.” This really calmed my ever-stressed, anxiety filled heart and mind. I can choose to be terrified every day and let fear consume me, or I can wake up each morning and decide to be turned towards God throughout the day. I can choose to trust in His word, trust in His plan and trust that He will keep me and my family safe and protected. I can trust that He will direct me for good. I can exercise my faith in His will and  know I will have made the right choice. My Heavenly Father can help me be a light. He can help me be a force for good.

I hope my posts and pictures can bring a little joy to your day. If we know each other personally, I hope our friendship or acquaintanceship is a happy one and that I am kind to you and leave you feeling better about yourself. If we only talk through comments, etc, I hope I am positive and cheery. I want to be something good in this world and I’m going to try harder every day to do this.

Because I can be a force for GOOD!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

 

Slump

I’ve been a little bummed lately. Its just a slump that will pass eventually, but I’m currently in the wait-it-out part and I hate that I’m starting to feel a little defeated by this. I’m letting everything everyone says get to me. I’m being extra hard on myself. I’m feeling like people have expectations of me and I’m not meeting them. I am feeling like some people are being disrespectful of the rules/boundaries I have for my son. I feel like because I only have one baby, my first baby, not all people are giving me credit for trying hard to be a good mom. A lot of times I’m hearing that I’ll be different and less worried, anxious and cautious as I have more children and H is the ‘unfortunate child’ because he’s our guinea pig baby, but I’m not brave enough to stand up for myself and say that I actually very well could be the same because I know who I am – I’m the biggest worrier and a full fledged anxiety queen – and I’m ok with it! Why can’t everyone else be? And even if I am a ‘different’ mom with my next kids, does that really make it ok to make fun of the way I mom, currently? Why is it so simple for some people to bash on the new moms? I feel like I’m letting myself be walked all over because I’m being too shy to confront anyone, even if its a small matter. I go to bed every night with a pit in my stomach because I feel like I failed during the day.

I hate it

I hate it

I hate it

Whenever I am in a crappy mood like this I am weird and I channel my inner teenage girl and turn to Pinterest to find some quotes that hopefully uplift and inspire me. I really like to search ‘LDS Quotes’ and they can put a little bit of brightness back into my day. I couldn’t think of anything to post today so I decided (after spilling my whiney, complain emotions) to post a few of the quotes I found that put a smile on my face.

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I feel like before you think I’m totally a hopeless, sad mess I need to remind everyone how lucky I am that I have my sweet, happy baby boy and my kind, caring husband. Thank goodness for them – I am #blessed

Before I go, just a reminder: Be nice. Don’t say mean, judgmental things to people because you don’t know how it could effect their happiness. Say nice things, keep negative opinions to yourself. Smile, be happy, lets uplift instead of bring down.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Breastfeeding

Something I’ve grown very comfortable with talking about and pretty passionate about since having a baby is breastfeeding. Maybe this is an awkward topic to talk about and if thats the case, you totally have my permission to close out of this post and continue on your merry way, but lately as I’ve been trying to overcome this weird writers-block I’ve been experiencing and brainstorm some things to blog about, I kept thinking of breastfeeding. Likely because I’m breastfeeding 90% of my day. (not really – but i do have a hungry little dude who takes his food very seriously)

I love nursing. I feel like nursing can get a lot of negative talk and some people have very strong negative feelings about it, but I love it. I knew way before I was even married that I would nurse, and if I was able to, I’d nurse for a long time. Lucky for me when H was born he was a natural. He had an awesome latch and my breasts were on their A-game too (is that really weird to say?) and provided plenty for my growing son. I am five months in to this and have no plans of stopping anytime soon and I feel very fortunate that my body is complying with this mindset as well. I produce SO much milk. I often joke with my family that I could go to a third world country and help out so many babies because of the enormous amount of milk I make. I still have to wear nursing pads, I leak on pretty much every shirt I wear, I still squirt milk across the room from time to time and my boobs always look huge because they’re full full full 9 times out of 10. It can be messy and it can be a pain (physically and mentally) but I’m grateful my body is letting me do this.

Funny enough, however, pumping is not my thing. I have a breast pump I really like and when H was teeny I used it occasionally and could produce several ounces within about 15 minutes. As time has gone on, for whatever reason my body does not respond to the pump very well anymore. It takes me quite a while to produce 2-4 ounces and its incredibly frustrating, especially because I know how much milk I produce. After reading some articles and talking to some people who know a thing or two about this, I’ve learned sometimes some women just can’t pump very well but nurse totally fine. It’d appear I’m one of these women.

I really do love breastfeeding. I look forward to it. Here are some of the things I’ve learned/wish I would’ve known when it comes to nursing:

  • It Is Bonding: I really do feel close to my son when I nurse and its not because he attaches himself to me during this time. I just love that its this thing only he and I can do and it makes my heart feel settled and happy.
  • The First Several Weeks are ROUGH: I loved nursing right from the get-go. At very first it just felt weird, but then a couple weeks into it the pain set in. My nipples felt chapped and every time H would latch my entire body would tense up as searing pain shot through me. There were times I’d find nail marks in my palms because I’d squeeze my hands together so tightly as he latched and gave the first few initial sucks. The worst then was when he’d unlatch, look around, latch back on, unlatch, look around, etc. It was exhausting and so, so painful.
  • Milk Will Fly: I had a friend tell me that milk squirting across the room is a myth, or at least not very common. I’d heard other people say they would spray so I assumed maybe I would just a little bit. But oh boy, it will rocket across a room if you aren’t careful. Its as funny as it is disturbing.
  • Its a Great Time to Catch Up on Social Media: Like most people, I get busy throughout the day doing various things – when I nurse I almost always have my phone out and it gives me a little while to catch up on whats new on social media.
  • Babies Get Grabby/Pinchy/Scratchy: And yes, your boobs will be the brunt of it. If I’m being candid here, my boobs usually look like I’ve had a kitten clawing at me all day. Scratched, scabbed and sometimes bloody. It hurts. But its really hard to explain to a baby that they can’t do this when they don’t understand what you’re saying, you know? So you learn to deal..
  • It Can Calm a Baby in No Time: If H is ever incredibly fussy and the usual stuff isn’t helping him, I nurse him and 100% of the time it works. My delivery nurse told me nursing has a calming effect on our babies and I completely believe it. Nothing calms him down more than nursing.
  • Sometimes its a Binky: To continue with the above bullet point, I think sometimes babies just use your boob as a fancy binky. Like they aren’t sucking hard enough to get milk, but they’re sucking enough that they’re getting the binky effect. (TMI?)
  • Your Baby Learns Where the Food Is: Sometimes H will just start grabbing at my shirt or shoves his face into my chest. I actually think this is one of the cutest things ever. Sometimes it happens in awkward settings, but its too adorable to really worry about. And its a very clear way for them to let you know they’re hungry.
  • Its YOUR Choice: I think the hardest part about being a mom is all the opinions and judgement you get. My mom told me early on in my pregnancy to ignore most of the opinions people give me and ultimately do what I feel is best. After H was born I totally got what she meant. I know what is best for my son, no one else knows him like I do, therefore they cannot give me valid opinions and their judgement is out of line. If you want to nurse for 1 month, great. If you want to nurse until your baby is 3, go for it. If you don’t want to nurse at all and choose the formula route, awesome. You mother your child the way you feel good about and don’t let anyone else’s opinions change the way you go about being a mom. You do you. Thats what your baby needs.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day!

I love Mothers Day and I am grateful that there is a day set aside to celebrate the wonderful mommas in our lives – although I fully believe every day moms deserve love and gratitude because a moms job isn’t easy and a moms love is crazy powerful and strong.

I’ve been incredibly blessed to be born to the best mom. She is selfless, sweet and has always been my best friend. She’s been my closest girl friend since I can remember. My sisters and I are so lucky to have her as a mom. She’s the closest ally, she’s a trusted confidant, she drops everything she’s doing to come to her children’s aid and she has such  a powerful love for her family. She is phenomenal, wonderful, beautiful, happy, inspirational — and even those words do not accurately describe just what a great woman she is. Its like the most cliche phrase ever, but truly if I could be half the mom she is as I continue to develop as a mother, then I will have become a really great mom. I’m so thankful that she is my example of motherhood.

Several years ago I met my mother-in-law who I instantly adored. The second I was introduced to her she took me under her wing, was so welcoming and we have had a close friendship ever since. I love that I can text her random little things throughout the day, that I trust her enough to tell her things on my mind and know that she always remembers what we’ve previously talked about. She listens and she cares. She just makes you feel valued and worth while. I always thank my lucky stars that I have a good relationship with her because I feel like its so common to hear about girls who do not have good relationships with their mother-in-law. Lucky me, she is one of my closest friends.

I share this picture most Mothers Days since getting married because honestly who else has this cool of a picture of their mom and MIL? My mom is on the right, Wild Man’s mom is on the left and at our wedding after Wild Man and I fed each other a piece of cake – they did the same to each other and I’m so glad the photographer caught the moment. (also how cute is my dad laughing behind them?)

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I also had to give a shoutout to my two sisters in law who have children. They are such great moms to their children and I have really loved being able to watch them with their kids and learn from their examples. I have a running list in my phone of things I have seen and continue to see them do that I love and want to implement in my mothering.

Lastly, I need to give a very happy shoutout to my little baby boy who made me a mother. This is my first Mothers Day and I think this is going to be a day filled with reflecting on the last five and a half months of being this sweet guys mom. I am so, so lucky. Being a mother is difficult and tiring, but I don’t even think of that stuff because the reward is so much greater. It is fulfilling, exciting, happy and (again a cheesy line) truly the calling I know I was meant to have.

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Happy Mothers Day to all of you. I hope your day is wonderful and I hope your hearts are full.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

AHHHHH!

I keep thinking one day I’ll wake up and finally be myself, again. People told me that sometimes after having a baby it takes a while to fully feel like yourself, again. As usual, I was sure I wouldn’t be in that percentage, but lo and behold, here I am wondering if I’ll ever feel like pre-baby CeeCee.

I’ll probably never feel entirely like pre-baby me, honestly. How could I? Pre-baby me didn’t have an adorable, snuggly baby boy. Now I do and having him has completely changed me. He has changed who I am, how I act, how I think, how I worry/stress out/panic/cry. I will never be the same.

But I still want to feel ‘normal’ (if i ever was normal), again. I’m just a little off and it can be tough. Also I have anxiety that is THROUGH THE ROOF. I guess I don’t really know how to explain how I feel. Its just weird and can be frustrating. Also I had no idea that having a baby would make me terrified. I fear nearly everything, now. What the heck? I can play out these scary scenarios in my mind then go about the rest of my day/week/life scared that it will happen, no matter how realistic or totally unrealistic it is.

IS THIS NORMAL?

Do all new moms/moms with newish babies feel this way? When do you start feeling like yourself again? Do you have advice? Should I worry? Should I embrace it? Should I just lay in bed and sob like I kind of feel like doing for no reason?

Oh boy, motherhood. This post-baby self is crazy.

{& so is this post — sorry its…awkward and whiney and probably really lame. venting needed to happen}

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles

You’re Doing a Good Job, Mom

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I’ve been mom for almost four months and already there are rough days and I end up feeling guilty. Its pretty easy for me to feel like I haven’t been a good enough mom to my sweet son who deserves absolutely everything. On days when I need to clean the house, my baby who loves to be held and played with, is stuck in his rocker, bouncer or on a blanket on the floor. He’s happy for a few minutes then starts crying and breaks my heart. Some days I just really want to get ready and do my hair and wear make up, but again, that means leaving my baby somewhere that isn’t in my arms – his least favorite place to be. Again, I’m consumed by guilt. I’ve come to hate the early evening when I need to be making dinner because I know I make my son sad when I am not by him and as hard as I try, I just can’t prepare a full meal with a  baby in one hand and a pot in the other. I feel so achey and sad when I’m taking clients in my spa and knowing my little buddy is upstairs with Wild Man or another family member and I’m not with him. For some reason I just feel bad when I’m not by him. (my emotions are likely incredibly irrational, I know). I know very well he is ok and its good for him to realize I can’t hold him 24/7, but that doesn’t make my guilt any easier. Its just hard sometimes to try and be the best mom ever and make sure your baby is happy 100% of the time when you know full well that goal can never be achieved because the house still needs to be cleaned, the laundry needs to be done, meals need to be prepared and so on.

This afternoon while I was doing a clients lashes and missing my baby who was being babysat by my momma, I started to think outside of my box of wanting to constantly coddle and snuggle my baby and decided to put myself in his little tiny shoes.

He loves me so much and to him, I am the best mom in the world. I give him food (that he loves oh so much), I change his diapers, I snuggle him in the middle of the night when he can’t sleep, I make him laugh, I hold his beloved binkys in his mouth when he can’t seem to keep them in, I keep him warm and comfortable, I wash his clothes, I keep him clean, I read him books, we play with toys together and we are absolutely best friends. I think if he were able to talk, he would give me a hug and tell me he loves me and that I’m doing a much better job than I am giving myself credit for. I’m a good mom.

I hope that I’m able to remember that next time I feel guilty and every time I look into the eyes of my sweet baby who thinks the world of me ❤

And I have a little shoutout for all the mommas out there who don’t always feel like they’re doing the best – YES YOU ARE. We only feel like we aren’t doing our best because we love our children that much. Your babies and you’re cute little kids love the heck out of you because you’re their mom. I hope we all can remember that.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

A Message from the Prophet

Late one night when I couldn’t sleep (thanks postpartum anxiety) and was perusing Twitter, @LDSLivingMag posted a link that caught my attention. Apparently President Monson had a message that every woman in the church needed to hear. Obviously I clickd on it because I was needing a little extra oomph in my attitude and self-love. As per usual, the Prophet delivered a sweet, uplifting message and I’d like to declare that not only do women in the church need to hear this, but all women, even if you aren’t LDS, need this message in your life.

The world is hard on women. According to media, we are just never good enough and always need to be working harder, doing better, getting skinnier, cooking better, cleaning more, being a better mother…basically just be perfect. So in light of all that that crap, this was a very refreshing message.

“Sometimes, my dear sisters, you feel inadequate and ineffective because you can’t do all that you feel you should. Rather than continually dwelling on what still needs to be done, pause occasionally and reflect on all that you do and have done. It is most significant. The good you have done, the kind words you have spoken, the love you have shown to others, can never be fully measured.” -Thomas S. Monson 

xoxo

ceeceesparkles