Wednesday, November 19, 2014

GLOSSYBOX November 2014

It's here! 

I ain't gonna lie!
Every time I get an email confirmation for the shipment of my Glossybox...
I eagerly await the mail man everyday in hope that he has my Glossybox
nestled under his arm!

It's like a surprise present every month!
Unlike your dear Aunt Flow...
This one is actually a good one!

GLOSSYBOX November 2014

GLOSSYBOX Package November 2014

 Do you see that orange staining on the left of my GLOSSYBOX Card?
It's a leak! At first I thought..
*OH WOW! This GLOSSYBOX smells amazing!*
Yeah, it was the leaking 12 Benefits Product...

GLOSSYBOX Index of Contents November 2014

Leaking Product
I'll probably email GLOSSYBOX see what they can do.
I really wanted to try this product :( 

GLOSSYBOX November 2014
 Here is the lineup of all the Products Included in the November 2014 Box.

From Left to Right:


Juice Beauty: Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer Full Size: $45.00 / 2oz

Kneipp: Herbal Bath: Balancing in Lavender Full Size: $20.00 / 3.38 fl oz

12 Benefits: Instant Healthy Hair Treatment Full Size: $20.00 / 6 oz

OPI: Nail Lacquer in Pink Outside the GLOSSYBOX Full Size: $9.50 / .5 fl oz

So Susan Cosmetics: Universal Blush Full Size: $23.29 / .14 oz

Pink outside the glossy box nail polish
Pink Outside the GLOSSYBOX November 2014

I usually hate pastels on my skin tone because the make my skin look ashy...
But I love this pink! 
Automatic MUST HAVE color!

OPI Pink Outside the Glossy Box

Kneipp Herbal Bath: Balancing in Lavender

If you are not a fan of the smell of lavender...
Honey... this is not for you!
This smells like straight up Lavender Oil.
But I am a fan! I used to not be but its actually really therapeutic.

Juice Beauty: Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer 

When I first saw this I thought of DKNY Be Delicious Perfume.
Every since I first got pregnant with my son, I haven't been able to shake the heightened sense of smell. Which made me a little hesitant to try this product.

But guess what??

It IS NOT apple scented, it actually has organic fruit juices; apple, lemon and white grape!

It has absolutely no scent, except for the  subtle smell of play-doh! 
But that's only due to my ridiculous heightened sense of smell!
Best of all... it's Certified Organic! 
Which really is wonderful since they are using fruit juices because I am super sensitive to insecticides. SCORE!! 

12 Benefits: Instant Healthy Hair Treatment
This product smells pretty good! 
Unfortunately, I was not able to try it since the top was opened and spilled all over my box.
It states that it corrects damage from chemical processing, pollution and heat styling.
As well as boosting hair color AND protecting your locks from the sun with sunscreen.

So Susan Cosmetics: Universal Blush
The So Susan blush is called Universal Blush.

At first glance it looks sort of 'bronzey'

But a swatch on my olive skin tone indicates more of a frosty pink.

This color reminds me of a more powdery, frosty NARS Orgasm.
I will definitely give this color a try, see how it works.
Will it really be universal?


I really love the GLOSSYBOX November 2014.
Some of my favorites include the OPI Nail Lacquer in Pink Outside the Glossybox.
AS well as the Juice Beauty Green Apple Moisturizer.

Get your own GLOSSYBOX!!

-Nancy Howe


Monday, August 25, 2014

The Birth of Alice Ruth

You would think giving birth once makes you some kind of pro, yeah… I don’t think so. So how did my labor go? Well, it was very different from when I had Christian, sort of. See, with Christian I wanted to go natural. I had this idea in my head about how it was going to go. I thought, “Hey! I can do this… I WILL do this!” Unfortunately, that is NOT how it went. I was hooked up to machines as soon as I got there and left to deal with the pain. Of course, with the occasional visit from nurses asking if I needed pain relief. I felt like I was taking too long, when in reality Christian’s birth was anything but long. It was relatively fast for a first time mom. Long story short, I gave in and got the epidural. It wasn’t this AMAZING feeling either, I was shaky and nauseous. I was admitted at 7:30am and had Christian at 1:55pm. I’d say thats pretty fast! 

Second time around I was dead set on going natural. If Alice’s birth was anything like Christian’s… fast… I COULD do this! I was about 4 days from my due date and had been having pain here and there. These had to be Braxton Hicks I thought. For those of you who do not know, Braxton Hicks Contractions are “practice contractions”. I never felt them with Christian and was excited! Maybe I won’t go overdue like with Christian! At my prenatal appointment, I was checked for dilation. Now, I know this isn’t an indication of when you will go into labor but I was super curious! Could all these Braxton Hicks help with dilation? At 39 weeks 4 days, I was only 1cm dilated. What?! I thought for sure as a second time mom, I’d be further dilated. I had the practice contractions, plus all the pressure. None of which I had with Christian. Comparison… not a good idea!

Membrane Sweep. What is that exactly? Oh… its a PAINFUL procedure, for some anyway. Basically, your doctor will sweep a finger around the cervix to separate the membranes of your amniotic sac that surround the baby from the cervix. This action releases hormones and may, MAY start labor. Out of my excitement for her birth to happen, I agreed to it. I was nearly 40 weeks and it could take up to 48 hours, if it happened. I got it done at noon on a Friday, then waited. The Braxton Hicks definitely got stronger after this. I started to lose my mucus plug, the “plug” at the opening of the cervix that basically keeps everything in there. We are talking about fluids AND the baby. It also prevents bacteria from getting in the uterus. Still nothing, just waiting.

Saturday was filled with irregular contractions while I continued to lose my mucus plug. Was it even my mucus plug? How much of it was there to lose? The pain on a scale from 1-10 was maybe a 4. It was tolerable. Usually, the pains got stronger at night. Would I have another Sunday baby?!? I took this time to sand and prime kitchen cabinets… I know crazy! Still having random contractions here and there but again nothing consistent. Went to bed, uncomfortably with pain getting stronger but still not consistent. No sleep for me. Having her on Sunday seemed less and less likely. The next day we went to church and Greg (the husband) and I decided to take Christian to the park, reminiscing the past in which we walked to the park expecting our first born. I took a deep breath and sat on the swings, observing Christian and Greg playing. Thinking, soon we will have another wonderful addition to our family. A little girl named Alice.

It was Sunday night. There goes the Sunday birth I wanted. Why did I want it? Christian was born on a Sunday as well as I. Oh well. It was about 7:30pm, when the contractions got closer and closer together. Oh… as well as WAY more painful. These were NOT Braxton Hicks! These were, NOBODY TALK TO ME BECAUSE I CAN’T THINK, SPEAK, OR HAVE ANY PATIENCE FOR YOU!!! They were only about 30 seconds long averaging about every 7 minutes. As soon as the pain would subside, I’d feel awesome again and was able to re-enter a conversation with ease. These didn’t stop. Could this be it? We put Christian to bed and texted my sister Joanna. While, my older sister, Elizabeth was staying with us from Arizona, she was out with friends at the time, so we reached out to Joanna. She got to our house around 10pm, while I continued to contract. They were finally a little over a minute long, averaging every 5 minutes, consistently for over and hour. We called the hospital and they said to come right in. Could this be it? We waited a little longer and then made out way to the hospital.

We got our stuff in the car and headed to the hospital. We got there a little after midnight. I was checked and was 3cm and about 50% effaced. You need to be 4cm to be admitted. Effacement is the thinning of your cervix. In order to give birth you need to be 10cm and 100% thinned out. At 3cm, I couldn’t be admitted but was excited! 3cm!! Almost there! They had me walk for an hour. It was 12:30 and Greg and I walked. The hospital had 4 floors so I decided to climb up and down for 45 minutes, stopping at contractions while Greg applied pressure to my lower back. After an hour we made it back for another check. 1:30am… still at 3cm. What?! Why?! I was being sent home. Home?! With THIS pain?! I can’t sleep, I can’t do this! I was offered morphine to help me sleep. I declined. Still set on doing it med-free. 

We got home at about 2:45am. Greg went right to sleep. While I tossed and turned in agony. I was shaking in pain. Contractions came every 4-5minutes, lasting 1m+. We were told to come in when they were 3 minutes apart. I tried to time them but couldn’t even remember the time. I couldn’t think, sleep, or relax, even in between them. This was PAINFUL. Two hours passed and the pain didn’t stop. I decided to get in the shower in hopes that the pain would ease. It didn’t. I got out and laid down on the floor in the fetal position. Crying. Waiting. An hour passed and Greg woke up, the pain was still strong an constant, I then realized it was every 3 minutes. Time for a trip back to the hospital. 

We were on the road with… TRAFFIC. All the way there, 25 miles. Finally got there and got checked… 3 CENTIMETERS dilated. What?! You have got to be kidding me!! At that point, the morphine was sounding more and more appealing. I decided I had to sleep, so I agreed. They kept me monitored while the midwife came by to talk to me. About 30 minutes in I told Greg I wasn’t going to take the morphine. I should push through it. Before I even told them I would not take it, another nurse checked the fetal monitor and saw 2 irregularities. Honestly, I don’t remember what she saw I was having contractions and couldn’t pay much attention to anything she was saying. This meant I had to stay monitored for another 20 minutes before they could discharge me and send me home. So we waited some more. Everything looked good so again, I was all set to go home. Awesome… The nurse offered to check me again. I thought sure why not and guess what… 5CM 75% effaced. Oh, Thank God! Progress!!!

From then on I was admitted. It was about the same time I was admitted with Christian. 7:30am. Second time deliveries should be faster!! I was going to meet little Alice soon! I had a room with an awesome tub that I got in to right away! I opted out of the IV so I had to sign a paper stating so. With the relief of being admitted, I was finally able to relax. Now it was just a matter of time and pain for Alice to get here. I sat in the tub, trying to get comfortable. Yeah, it didn’t help with the pain. Bummer. I decided to get out and walk around the room. Hours passed and eventually my sisters made it out to the hospital with Christian. I vaguely remember him being there, I was in so much pain it was hard to concentrate. I remember him being there happy as ever and then him kissing my forehead goodbye. I was checked about an hour after being admitted, roughly 8-9am. 6 Centimeters. Progress. nice. Then again hours later. 6 Centimeters. I remember passing Christian’s birth time and thinking, I held out this long, I could have had him naturally. The pain was intense. All I could do is cringe in agony, shaking and crying. I was checked again and remained at a 6cm. I couldn’t take it. I hadn’t slept in so long. A medal to all the mothers that did it naturally, I admire you, I really do. But I am sorry to say that I didn’t join that club. I had enough, I requested the epidural.

More fetal monitoring had to be done as well as an IV prepared for me due to me requesting not to have one upon arrival. The wait for pain relief seemed like forever! Finally, I got it. I thought I would feel like I failed myself. I didn’t. I was proud of myself for going that long. Even if I didn’t make it til the end, I was proud that I was able to push myself that far. Again, for me the epidural wasn’t this feeling of bliss. I was again nauseous and shaky and did not feel great. I still felt the immense pressure and discomfort of the contractions but not anywhere near the pain of them without pain relief. Now, it was wait time. Greg and I took short naps here and there. 3pm…4pm…5pm…6pm… and STILL 6 Centimeters. It felt like it was never going to happen. 

At 7:30pm I was checked again. looks like 9CM and 100% effaced!! YES!! The time is nearing. Oh, and thats when I got the call. Greg picked up, my older sister crying frantically on the phone, they had JUST been in an accident. A huge tow truck rear ended them as they were making their way to the hospital. WHAT!?! Thank God they were okay but not something you want to hear when you are so close to giving birth. My mom and my older sister are my rocks, they were there for the birth of Christian. I wanted them there and now that didn’t seem like it was going to be possible. About half an hour later I was checked and was 10cm, it was time to push. So many thoughts of that day just seemed to disappear from my head. All that was left was the thought of our daughter being welcomed into this world. 

I pushed for about half and hour and our little girl Alice was born… posterior may I add!! Babies in a posterior position are said to cause longer labors and tremendous back pain. Oh Alice! Would it had made a difference if she wasn’t posterior, I don’t know. All I know, is that I don’t regret anything about her birth. Of course, the car accident I could have done without! Oh and finding out Robin Williams passed was also something that I wish hadn’t happened. But other than that I was happy. She was healthy and here and that’s all that mattered. Alice was born at 8:47pm weighing 6lbs 12oz, 20 inches long. She was born with dark gray eyes and a head full of the darkest hair I’ve ever seen. She was beautiful, she is beautiful. 

The next day it was time to bring Alice home where she would meet her older brother Christian. But before that we had to deal with insurance, car rentals and car seats. Our car was totaled and our car seats unusable. All I wanted to do is go home. After figuring all that stressful stuff out we were on our way home. Finally, our little family was together again.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

DIY: Ikea Tarva Dresser

 What to do when you need a beautiful unique dresser but don't want to shell out lots of $$$$ for it? DIY of course!! After months of trying to find the perfect dresser to refinish off Craiglist and realizing.. how the heck am I going to haul a dresser home? I decided for an Ikea piece!  Ikea's furniture comes in boxes! Now that I can do! Plus... a stop by their yummy cafeteria... Mmmm!!!

So I decided on the unfinished Ikea Tarva 6 drawer dresser.  At $149 why not?

To Stain the furniture I used a combination of Minwax PolyShades in Antique Walnut and Espresso.

I also painted all the drawers black at first.. I went for a ultra light coat, barely using any paint. The paint used was Gloss Black by Valspar. My Inspiration was this Berkeley Dresser by Bungalow 5.
(pictured below)

Of course during the time it took me to finish this dresser..*ahem* over a month.. blame having a toddler, being pregnant and having a workaholic husband..  Anyway... THE CAT THREW THE DRAWER ON THE GROUND AND BROKE IT!!! GRRR!!!!!!! Luckily Liquid Nails came to the rescue! Yay!


   Can you see that? ITS RED!! Not exactly what I was going for. I blame myself for picking up a random stain from our garage. In my defense.. the Antique Walnut Stain by Minwax looks very different in the picture! So I made my way to Home Depot and picked up Minwax Polyshades in Espresso to further darken and reduce the red.

Goodbye RED!!

I then painted the drawers with a ultra light coat of Benjamin Moore  - New York State of Mind.
(BM New York State of Mind pictured above)

I let the black show through to give it a nice transition from the stained wood to the bright color.

I really think finding the right drawer knobs took the longest. I didn't want to spend too much but also didn't want some cheap looking ones either. And then I found them! I got them off the Home Depot website and had them shipped to the store. They are called Amerock 1-1-/2 in. Antique Brass Cabinet Knobs. Best part? .80 cents each!!!! They are absolutely amazing!! 

To seal the stain I used Deft Clear Wood Finish.
As for the drawers I wanted them shiny, so I opted for Rust-oleum Triple Thick Glaze.

There you have it folks!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Office Progress!!

Who knew that the the cat room/storage room could be transformed!! This was supposed to be a dining room.. but who really eats at the dining room? Not this family!

The mess that was before. 

Getting there but still a lot more to do! 
Almost there!!! This is an After photo, but its still a work in progress! I added a contrasting paint color to the back wall to add some dimension!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Pregnancy Craving ATM: Jicama!!!

Jicama is a Mexican yam... actually more like a turnip!
It is mildly sweet and full of water.
Its similar to a water chestnut.

It also happens to be my favorite snack to munch on!

It looks like some sort of potato!!
 And if you grow it too big it will be quite starchy!

But when grown just right, it's sweet and juicy!

I love mine tangy and spicy with Tajin!


Gender Wars: Boy or Girl?

Surprise! I'm pregnant! I couldn't be any more excited! But with that excitement comes wonder.
What are you little baby? A little baby boy or a little baby girl?

To be honest i am a little bit scared of having a girl. Why? You see, i've already had a boy, my beautiful son Christian Liam. 

I feel very comfortable with having another boy but a girl? I know there isn't much to expect, except the opposite! haha!

But when you think of girls, you think of something delicate and gentle. I'm over-thinking it! There is a familiarity with finding out you're having another boy, since you've already had one!

I actually always said I wanted to have a boy and then a girl. Ever since I was a young age,  I had my births planned for a certain age... and lo and behold they are actually accurate! I told family I would have my first at 24, check! Second at 26, check! Now if I find out I'm having a girl... that's going to be a little creepy! Either that or I am destined to be a psychic!! muahahahah!!! No but really I am so excited to find out! Either one I know it's going 
to be AWESOME! 
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