Mom Appropriate

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron Shot at: The Duniway Hotel, Portland OR This post contains affiliate links.  These shoppable links help pay costs to run my blog. 

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Shot at: The Duniway Hotel, Portland OR

This post contains affiliate links.  These shoppable links help pay costs to run my blog. 

Postpartum life has presented many challenges.  Navigating through motherhood is unique for everyone.  The online community seems to take great pride of mom tribes and support on message boards but then on Instagram I see so much mom shaming.

Surprisingly a lot of it focuses on women dressing "inappropriately" and slut shaming. 

Personally I was not a wallflower with what I wore before I had my son and to suddenly change how I dress seems disingenuous.  I loved tights jeans and crop tops before.  I never shied away from a slightly sheer garment. I have always loved dressing up in lingerie and pretty lace bras and underwear. 

One of my least favorite parts (that no one told me about either) of healing after I had my son was having to wear those crazy huge adult diapers.  It's common to bleed for weeks after childbirth.  I'm not talking heavy menstruation either.  Much heavier than that.  You can't use tampons and as much as you think pads will be easier it's those giant adult diapers that are your best friend.  My uniform for the first three weeks was leggings, adult diapers, nursing bra stuffed with nursing pads and my husbands old t-shirts.  As someone who finds confidence in their wardrobe and being able to dress in various looks this was a blow to myself esteem.  Eventually I graduated from adult diapers to pads with full coverage underwear but that was for another month since I also had two stitches that needed to heal and some layers of skin taken off (think of a rug burn on your labia, yay!) So when I was finally all healed and feeling back to normal down there I switched back to my thong underwear and DAMN DID IT FEEL GOOD.  

I felt like myself again.  I felt confident to wear my bodysuits and tight jeans.   I felt sexy.    I finally started dressing more like pre-baby me.  Did I have to make some adjustments?  Sure!  Some items from my closet are just not functional while going through my day while I take care of my baby.  I bend over too much to pick him up and set him down so I don't buy short dresses for everyday wear now.  I can't balance well while holding him so I ditched a ton of my high heels.  When I went to Mexico last month I bought new swimwear since I didn't want to risk him pulling the ties of a bikini and giving everyone a show.  Also my body changed and I have some insecurities in certain areas.

I definitely was nervous taking these photos and it was a risk for me.  I'm still trying to come back in tune with my sexual side and finding myself a sexual being again.  When I spend most of my days covered in baby spit and drool, changing poopy diapers, skipping showers and rocking greasy mom hair it's a challenge to look in the mirror and think "Yup, I'm hella sexy and feel super hot and fierce right now."  So I wanted to take some photos in some pretty lingerie (the first lingerie I have worn since baby was born!) to remind myself I am a sexy woman and can still rock lingerie post baby.   

If you see any mom blogger or influencer post a photo of themselves with their hair brushed, some lipstick on and in an outfit other than leggings then trust me that they were feeling sexy/pretty/beautiful/fierce that day.  It was one of (probably) the few days they got to spend some time on themselves.  It doesn't matter if a mom feels her best in a good pair of jeans, a sparkly dress or lingerie.  They are wearing what makes them feel good and it's important we either comment out of support or keep our opinions to ourselves if we do not agree, for whatever reasons. Just like I don't have a high opinion of bermuda shorts and find them personally offensive it doesn't warrant a personal attack on a person's social media post and calling them names.  Stop calling women sluts for how they dress.  Stop telling mothers they dress "inappropriately".   If you personally would not dress that way that's fine. It doesn't make it inappropriate except to your own personal opinion.  Let's stop making women feel they need to change who they are and how they express themselves as soon as they become a mother.  We are still our own sexy-fierce-beautiful individual, even with a small person in one arm. 

 

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Bodysuit: Forever 21, SHOP IT HERE: https://rstyle.me/n/cxt8rcbzkkx

Necklace: Grayling Jewelry, use code NICO15 for 15% off your order (valid until 2/25)   SHOP IT HERE: COCO BUBBLE DROP NECKLACE

Robe: Stone Cold Fox 

Similar items below

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photos by Chantel Marie, Copyright Nicole Burron

Robe: SheIn SHOP IT HERE: https://rstyle.me/n/cv94stbzkkx

Lingerie Set: Altar Houseline

Necklace: Grayling Jewelry, use code NICO15 for 15% off your order (valid until 2/25)   SHOP IT HERE: Tudor Necklace 

Shoes: Shop similar below

50-30-20 Rule // COUNTRY Financial

This post is sponsored by COUNTRY Financial.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This post is sponsored by COUNTRY Financial.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It's one of the biggest steps you can take!  Buying a home. It’s also has a long checklist of getting your finances in order. It can feel overwhelming of where to even start. COUNTRY Financial offers multiple ways to get your finances in order and reach your goals.  They were a great resource for us in finding out how much we should save each month for our son’s future college tuition without sacrificing vacations, dining out or my shoe addiction.

 

   We're almost done paying off my husband's student loans, our baby has his college savings account set up and our credit scores have skyrocketed.  With the added task of house hunting I am finding limited time for obsessing over budgets and daily spending.  I found the COUNTRY Financial resource of the 50-30-20 rule an easy no brainer way to tackle our current needs.  We have 5 trips between now and the end of June so keeping on financial track for flights, boarding our dogs, eating out and lodging is necessary and easy.  You can learn more about the 50-30-20 rule by clicking here.

 

COUNTRY Financial offers even more ways for you to hit the goals you want in life online or in person with a financial advisor.  Take the big steps in life by taking simple steps and learn more at: https://info.countryfinancial.com/SimpleSteps

February Crystal: Amethyst

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron This post contains affiliate links.  Affiliate links help me fund my blog so I can keep sharing mystical magical content with you! 

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

This post contains affiliate links.  Affiliate links help me fund my blog so I can keep sharing mystical magical content with you! 

Happy February!  February's featured birthstone is amethyst.  This magical crystal is universally given as gifts for its over all positive properties helping aid in stress, anxiety and well being. This stone helps open the third eye and create a positive protective light. 

The name amethyst translates in Greek to, “not drunken.” An ancient Greek myth explains this seemingly odd name. According to the myth, the god Bacchus was angry, and had vowed to descend a hoard of tigers upon the first person who crossed his path. Amethyst was on her way to give thanks at the shine of the god Diana, when she happened upon Bacchus. Before the tigers could eat Amethyst, she was saved by Diana, who turned her into a clear crystal. Bacchus, remorseful for the fate he had so recklessly caused the girl, poured the juice of grapes over the stone as an offering, and thus bestowed the crystal with its unique purple coloring. 

The Chinese believe if amethyst is placed in the placed in the wealth corner, amethyst can amplify the flow of prosperity into the home. 

I always think it's fun to incorporate crystals and stones in ways other than jewelry (but I included some pretty jewelry pieces as well!) and if you practice the philosophy of Feng Shui I added home decor items you can place in your wealth corner.

That gift that keeps giving // COUNTRY Financial

This post is sponsored by COUNTRY Financial.  Video copyright of Nicole Burron. 

My parents came to visit us in Portland a few weeks before Christmas since we decided not to fly home for the holidays this year (can't risk our little one getting sick on the flight).  To celebrate we had our own lil mini Christmas at our apartment.  Like all grandparents they spoiled our lil one with lots of gifts, but the gift that meant the most was a check my stepmom gave him. In the card it specifically read that the check would be a recurring check every month that she would deposit into his savings account to use for his education one day.  When I added the amount up I realized that her one gift of this could easily pay his tuition for four years. I loved how she was thinking ahead for him.  Now the next step is actually setting up the savings account. Looking over the plans with COUNTRY Financial Simple Steps it's easy for my stepmom to be able to contribute to her grandson's college education every month and for my husband and I to add to it as well.  You can learn more about taking simple steps here: https://www.countryfinancial.com/simplesteps 

Favorite Skin Care Products for 2018

 

 

This post contains affiliate links.  Photo Copyright Nicole Burron.

This post contains affiliate links.  Photo Copyright Nicole Burron.

 

In 2017 I tested out a lot of different skin care products.  Some of them were sent to me in PR packages, others I discovered from my facialist, a few were given to me as gifts and of course most of them were impulse purchases at Sephora. 

I also included a chart to let you know if the products are free of certain ingredients and/or vegan/no animal testing-

NP- no preservatives

V- vegan

GF- gluten free

NA- no animal testing 

CO- certified organic 

Below I am rounding up the ones I am taking with me into 2018 and then ones I am still on the hunt for so make sure to drop any recommendations in the comments!

Makeup-remover:  This doesn't apply to eye makeup remover, although some people seem to use it for that. If you know a great one please let me know in the comments! However I love this to get off makeup for the rest of my face.  It starts out as an oil then turns into a milky face wash that you rinse off with lukewarm water.  You start it off on dry skin and you can really feel it soak through that layer of makeup.  It leaves your skin feeling soft and clean without stripping it of natural oils.  I have a very oily t-zone and found this doesn't create over oil production.  I use this as night before bed. NP, GF

Shop Boscia by clicking here

Body exfoliant- My skin gets extra dry during the colder months.  I love a good scrub but find a lot of them irritate my skin.  This is my favorite scrub because it comes in a giant tub and also has moisturizing shea butter and coconut oil.  So while it helps get rid of the dry skin it also moisturizers which provides an amazing and close shave (and if you're a mom you know that you need the best shave possible to ensure it lasts a while!) I use this scrub 2-3 days a week. CO, NA, V

Shop Body Scrub by clicking here

Face Exfoliant- It took me a while to find a facial exfoliant that was gentle but effective.  I use this 3-5 days a week depending on how my skin may be acting from working out, weather change or trying out new makeup. It's a powder that you disperse into your hand and add water to. It's main focus is the papaya enzymes that help even skin tone and fight dullness. I have tried this morning and night and it doesn't cause extra redness to me skin after use.

Shop Face Exfoliant by clicking here

Under eye cream- I got this from Skin by Lovely who stocks very specific skin care products.  This isn't a miracle overnight cream and it took about a month for me to see the difference so you have to be patient with this but I promise to results pay off. It works as a firming eye cream to target fine lines while helping lift the eye area.  I love that any under eye concealer I may use doesn't pile under it and it's great for contact lens users.  I use one full pump every night before bed and a half pump every morning after my shower. This brand is a live raw product brand. NA

Shop Eye Firming Cream by clicking here

Face serum- The spa I go to for my facials carries this line.  This was definitely a splurge BUT it is magic in a bottle.  It's the best serum I have ever used. It smells amazing and my skin soaks it right up.  It isn't drying at all. It's main ingredients are kale and vitamin C & E. It works as a collagen boosting and anti-aging product and I can always see the difference in the morning.  I use this as the last step of my skin care routine at night.  I use 2-3 drops per night.  The company also offers free samples! NA, some products available GF

Shop Serum by clicking here AND take $10 off your order with code: REFP7T4KLSTJM

Daily moisturizer- This is the holy grail for me for keeping my face from getting oily during the day.  I used to go through a pack of those oil absorbing sheets every two weeks.  Now I have had the same pack for the last 6 months and this bottle of magic is to thank for it.  It works as an oil control hydrator.  It isn't as thick as most moisturizers and goes on very light and silky.  I find it also is an amazing primer for foundation/concealer.  I have yet to have a makeup sit odd on it since it helps mattify. I put it on almost immediately after showing since the green tea helps reduce any redness (cause I like my showers HOT). NA, some GF available

Shop Daily Moisturizer by clicking here

Under eye fix- I still sometimes wake up with puffy under eyes.  Usually it's because I didn't drink enough water the day before or maybe had too much salt.  I really love this as a quick fix but after applying I let it sit for about 15 minutes then wipe it off with a soft washcloth and warm water.  I found it piles with under eye concealer but I don't see the benefits of leaving it on all day.  The 10-15 minute mark seems to get the job done!

Shop Under Eye Fix by clicking here

Detox face mask- Every now and then I need a good reset for my skin.  Something that pulls the junk out.  In between my facials I like to do a little detox face mask. I used to use the amazon clay mask you can get off Amazon but it was a little too harsh.  The new mask I use has amazon clay plus other ingredients that help soothe the skin and pull out impurities without over drying or causing my pores to create extra oil. Tip: I use ACV instead of water when mixing for extra detoxifying properties! NA, V

Shop Detox Face Mask by clicking here

Glow secret- When I have a special event I always reach for this product.  This is my favorite of the "muds".  I put it on the night before and it adds this extra plump and glow to my skin.  It's like a built in filter for your face!

Shop Glow Secret by clicking here

Face tools-  I have two new face tools I love.  One is a roller that I keep in my freezer and use every morning after applying my moisturizer.  It helps depuff and create circulation in my face which gives it a little more life after being planted on a pillow all night.  It seems to get rid of that sleepy saggy look.  The next item I use to get the peach fuzz off my face which I noticed helps my products soak in more and my face makeup sit more evenly.  I've never nicked my skin with this design which was a fear of mine in using anything with a high speed blade. 

Shop Roller by clicking here

Shop Shaver by clicking here

Things I am still on the hunt for:

- Eye makeup remover

- favorite under eye patches 

- Any amazing sheet mask

Leave your favorite products in the comments!

2018 for Oh-So Lovely Life

This post contains affiliate links.  Copyright Nicole Burron.

This post contains affiliate links.  Copyright Nicole Burron.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Years eve!

Lately I have been trying to take advantage of the poll option on IG stories to gauge what kind of blog content would interest you this year.  Below I wanted to recap on some of the topics that seem like the favorites. 

Feel free to add any other things you might want me to cover in the comments.  I can sometimes ramble ideas on IG stories and then forget (thanks mom brain!)

- Nursery tour

- My battle with cystic acne

- Home buying journey 

- Traveling with baby

- Quick, easy vegan recipes 

As promised below is my favorite video of Caspian this year.  It makes me laugh every time.  I decided I am going to post funny videos from my daily life like this on my Facebook so make sure to like it so you can follow along!

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

 

As promised below are the shoppable links to my two latest IG post looks. Excited to connect with you more this year!

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

I'm currently crushing on dresses with burnout velvet florals.  I've linked some amazing ones below similar to the one I'm wearing plus these earrings that are so expensive looking and detailed in person.  I also linked a deer onesie similar to the one Caspian is wearing.

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

I wore this outfit NYE day while we ran some errands and looked at our first home!  This coat is one of the best purchases I made for winter and they keep selling out so grab one while you can.  The Z Supple grey sweat t-shirt I am wearing underneath comes in a 2-pack and is on sale right now.  These are so easy to wear with a casual look or cute yoga pants.  

Meet BRETT ADAM

This post is sponsored by Brett Adam.  All thoughts are my own.  Photography by Erik Eagon. Photos are not to be used without permission. 

This post is sponsored by Brett Adam.  All thoughts are my own.  Photography by Erik Eagon. Photos are not to be used without permission. 

One of the best parts of living in Portland is how creative and supportive our community is.   The fashion scene is booming with veteran local designers, aspiring design students from the Art Institute and new creatives who have relocated to our city to seek a genuine artistic scene.

When designer Brett Adam reached out about collaborating we were able to connect in person which is always a treat for me since I am usually working behind my computer or cell phone screen at all times and it's pretty hard to get me to leave the house past 5pm but he promised me a martini so I put on actual pants and ventured out to meet him.

Brett had recently moved to Portland from Miami where he worked as a wardrobe stylist. I was able to hear about his adventures in Miami, Los Angeles and New York as a stylist for commercial brands, modeling agencies and fashionistas.  We chatted about fashion trends and what inspired him to create his own line.

BrettAdam-Nicole (1).jpg

Brett Adam designs are all one of a kind pieces created from globally sourced materials and made in the US. Brett talked about the seamstresses, his photographer and his vision for the kind of client who would wear his pieces.  His voice had passion while he gushed about how happy he is to be able to work with the team he has and the feedback from bloggers and influencers that he's reached out to.  That kind of excitement is infectious and I couldn't wait to see how he would style me in his designs for our shoot.

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We met on a crisp Saturday morning with his business partner, photographer and adorable chihuahua!  The sky was overcast and looked like rain but we were able to power through all three looks with the motivational help of some throwback 90's music. It was so fun to be dressed up and chat about each piece with Brett while we shot the looks.  Some of the stories behind where he sources the material are pretty amazing!

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This look was definitely the most fashion fierce boss babe look of the bunch.  The blazer is a vintage men's Burberry piece that has been deconstructed. I love how he belted it so the shoulders could accentuate my newly re-gained waist line. The cold shoulder top is sourced from GANT and part of a set. 

Burberry Blazer SHOP IT HERE

Cold Shoulder Top SHOP SIMILAR HERE // SHOP SIMILAR SETS HERE

Use code: nicoleb10 to save 10% on your order (valid until 1/12/2018) FREE SHIPPING available for a limited time!

BrettAdam-Nicole-3.jpg

This was my favorite look.  The jacket in my mind is the signature trade mark piece of his collection. I could picture multiple fashionistas styling it so many ways. I love how each one he makes has different sleeves that add the perfect amount posh.  This particular one has vintage St. John sleeves. All the pieces in this look are redesigned.  The jeans are vintage Levis, top (leopard) is material from Escada silk, top (black) is material from Emporio Armani.

Escada Animal Print Blouse SHOP IT HERE

Black Levi's SHOP THEM HERE

Military X St John Jacket SHOP IT HERE // SHOP SIMILAR STYLE HERE

Use code: nicoleb10 to save 10% on your order (valid until 1/12/2018) FREE SHIPPING available for a limited time

BrettAdam-Nicole-Re-edits-blue.jpg

This look was incredibly comfortable and similar to how I like to layer my skirt pieces for the cold.  With a turtleneck, tights and boots. The material is light and the skirt has an elastic waistband which is always much appreciated. The set is redesigned from a Brooks Brothers top and the turtle neck crop top is redesigned from a Wolford piece.

Brooks Brothers Set SHOP IT HERE

Gray Wolford Crop SHOP IT HERE

Use code: nicoleb10 to save 10% on your order (valid until 1/12/2018) FREE SHIPPING available for a limited time

Brett Adam is a collaborative creative fashion brand that stands out and you can feel good about. 

 

Decadent Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

This post contains affiliate links. Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

This post contains affiliate links. Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

I don't know many people who don't love butternut squash soup.  If it's on the menu at a restaurant I will usually order it. The problem I find is most recipes usually call for cream and my stomach does not handle straight cream well.  

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

This recipe uses cashew milk which I find adds that extra creaminess and keeps the recipe vegan friendly.

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

The other magical ingredients in this that give it that special flare are gala apples and dried sage.

This soup can be whipped up in 20 minutes and serves 4-6 people. Perfectly light and healthy for after all that indulgent holiday eating without having to sacrifice flavor. 

Ingredients

-2 lbs of cubed butternut squash (Trader Joes sells a pre-cut 2lb bag to cut down on prep time!)

-1 yellow onion chopped (I use the Trader Joes pre cut bag of this as well.  I use about 2/3 of the bag)

-2 large cloves of garlic, minced

-2 Gala apples cut into cubes (discard core and seeds)

-2 cups of vegetable stock

-2 tbsp olive oil

-2 teaspoons of dried sage

-1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk

-sea salt and pepper to taste  

 

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Add olive oil, onion and garlic to a large pot.  Cook for 3-5 minutes on medium heat. Watch carefully so onion and garlic does not burn.

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Add butternut squash and cook for additional 5 minutes.

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Add apple and sage, pour vegetable stock over and allow to cook with lid on for 5-7 minutes 

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Transfer contents to VitaMix.  You can also use a durable blender but I always suggest a Vitamix because I have yet to find something this bad boy can't blend.  Below I linked shoppable links along with refurbished ones for about half the price of a new one!

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Blend on high until mostly smooth.  Then slowly add the cashew milk and blend starting at medium and slowly work your way up to high until cashew milk is blended through and mixture is to smooth consistency of your liking.  I taste test here and add salt as needed. 

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Serve immediately so it's still hot and garnish with fresh cracked pepper.

You can bet anyone who tries this won't be able to tell it's vegan!

For more awesome vegan dishes follow my Pinterest board by clicking here

Holiday Look // Party Tops and Pants

This post contains affiliate links.  Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron.  Location: The Duniway Hotel, Portland Oregon.

This post contains affiliate links.  Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron.  Location: The Duniway Hotel, Portland Oregon.

I bet you thought I was going to post another dress huh? This party look is perfect for any holiday gatherings you have this weekend of NYE bashes next week. 

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron.

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron.

I love the look of dressed up cigarette pants.  There's something so sexy and chic about a good fitting pair of black trousers on women. They are a classic wardrobe staple you need in your closet to dress up, wear to work or just switch up the usual "jeans with sweater" look.  Below are the pair I am wearing. I also linked the classic black pumps.  I love the subtle pointed toe.  These are another wardrobe staple you need to have, even if you're like me and don't wear heels very often you'll find yourself reaching for these again and again. 

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron. 

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron. 

My top is actually a bodysuit.  Bodysuits are one of the things I missed most while pregnant.  I wear a lot of high waist jeans, pants and skirts and love how a seamless bodysuit pulls the look together.  I am very focused on the one shoulder trend right now.  The off shoulder trend is still sexy but I am a bit tired of it so this allows you to still show some skin and is a fresh play on the bare shoulder.  I love the metallic gold polka dot to add a little sparkle.  Below I linked some similar bodysuits and tops since this particular one is sold out. The first two tops are actually available in your local Nordstrom store!

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron.

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron.

The circle hoop geometric statement earring trend isn't going anywhere.  It's fresh and the kind of jewelry you can dress up and down.  I paired some picks below followed by my designer looking embelished crossbody bag along with a few other beautiful jewel options and if you really want to be the belle of the ball the Gucci bag!

Don't forget!  You can save on your stay at The Duniway Hotel when you follow this link:

http://www3.hilton.com/en_US/hi/search/findhotels/index.htm

You code YES where you can apply promotion codes on the right hand side. 

Valid 12/22-12/30

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron. 

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron. 

Our Birth Story

Copyright Nicole Burron This post contains photos that feature blood and bodily fluids as well as placenta.  No vaginal shots are shown.  These photos are incredibly intimate to us and not to be used without our permission.  

Copyright Nicole Burron

This post contains photos that feature blood and bodily fluids as well as placenta.  No vaginal shots are shown.  These photos are incredibly intimate to us and not to be used without our permission.  

I woke up early on Saturday, July 22nd.  We had a midwife appointment that morning at 9.  I decided to take a long shower, wash my hair and shave my legs.  I put on makeup and one of the only dresses that still fit me but luckily it was also one of my favorite dresses. Our son had definitely dropped and I walked with a waddle.  Portland summer weather was hot and sticky but that particular morning was cooler than mosts.  As we were driving to our appointment I got the idea in my head that I wanted to make a meyer lemon cake with cream cheese frosting from scratch.  I don't know why but I assume it was my nesting brain.  When we arrived to the birth center my midwife Marilyn gave me a big hug and listed to the babies heart beat, measured my belly and asked how I was feeling.  She was due to go to Hawaii in a few days and I was pretty bummed. When I had made the switch to the birth center only a few months earlier I developed a quick and deep emotional connection with Marilyn.  I knew if I delivered on my due date or later I would work with the second midwife.  My bond with Marilyn was so deep I really had my heart set on having her deliver our baby.  I told her I had been having mild contractions since my acupuncture appointment on Thursday but they didn't last more than 15 mins and they just felt like mild cramps. She asked if I had lost my mucus plug and I said no.  She asked if I wanted her to check to see if I was dilated at all and I said no. We had no signs our baby boy was on the way.  She sent us off with a warm smile and hugs telling me to rest, relax and enjoy the day.

We grabbed brunch  and I remember everyone staring at me as we left.  I had that "she's about to pop" look I guess.  Since I was technically "due" that coming Wednesday we decided to stop by the local party store to get a "Welcome Home" sign for the baby and pick up the fixings to make my meyer lemon cake with cream cheese frosting.  My husband had plans to hang out with a friend for a bit then head out golfing with another later that day.  I was originally going to hang out with my friend while our husbands golfed but I was tired and just had this feeling like I should stay home so I parked myself on the couch and turned on Friends.  Friends is my happy zone out show.  I knew my husband would be home soon to change before he headed out to the golf range so I decided it was time to get going on this epic meyer lemon cake with cream cheese frosting.  I stood up and WOOSH.  A gush of liquid came spilling out beneath me.  I stood stunned for about a minute.  I was told again and again that rarely do women actually have their water break in such a way but there I was standing in a puddle of fluid while Friends "so no one told you life was gonna be this waayyyyy" blared in the background.  

With a shaky voice I called my husband and screamed "My water broke!  You can't go golfing!"  I called my dad next to alert him that him and my step mom should book that flight up to Portland and that this baby was coming early! When my husband got home we called our doula who asked if I was having contractions and I told her nothing other than what I was experiencing before.  Our birth plan had included laboring at home as long as possible so she told us to sit tight, eat some carbs for energy and to try and sleep before my contractions kicked in.  I think the time at this point was around 4/5pm.  I was so excited that our baby was on his way that sleep was not an option.  We ordered a pizza, boarded the dogs for the night at their daycare, I texted with friends and family and yes I even got an IG post up letting social media know baby C would be here sooner than later!

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So the next bits are a little of a blur because when you are in labor you lose track of time but I remember around 10pm my contractions were starting to feel like very intense period cramps.  They reminded me of the pain I had had before with cysts on my ovaries.  By this point we were in bed and trying to sleep.  My husband was timing my contractions and in touch with our doula and midwife. Barely an hour later it was apparent sleeping was not going to happen.  My contractions felt like they went from a pain scale of 6/10 to 10/10 in less than an hour.  I couldn't lay down comfortably and moved back to the living room.  I don't remember where those 4 hours went but it got to the point where I couldn't talk and was making the deep beast noises. The best way I can explain them is a walrus having an exorcism. I could hear my husband on the phone with our doula and telling her my contractions were xx minutes apart for xx amount of time.  I saw him hold the phone up and obviously I was making the que noises that I needed to get to the birth center right away.  

Now I am going to describe the rest in fragments, because that's how I remember it.  

In the car, on all fours, in the back seat, moaning and crying.

We get to the birth center first.  I am laying in the backseat and have a brief moment of clarity.  It's the middle of the night and cold.  I stare at the streetlights and fog outside trying to breathe and remain calm.

The midwives escort us in to our birthing room.  I see Marilyn and feel relief. I see our doula Brooke and feel relief. I see the tub water drawn and candles lit.  I can hear my husbands playlist he made me softly playing.  I use the restroom and lose my mucus plug. I am very alert and awake for the next few hours. Extremely aware that I am about to push a baby out but somehow all those classes about birthing and breathing also go out the window. 

I labor in the tub.  The water is warm and helps the pain a bit. I labor there for a while but loose focus and need to move to a more comfortable spot.  

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

I labor on the toilet with a cloth wrapped around my husbands shoulders that I pull down on so hard I am convinced I am breaking him. 

I move back to the tub where I am passing out in between contractions.  Sipping water here and there and I remember vomiting once or twice. My eyes are closed as I try to focus and breathe. I remember constantly reaching out for hands to hold and squeeze.  I held so many hands that night.  My husbands, my doulas, all three of the midwives.  

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

I am squeezing hands and I look up at everyone in the room at one point and say "My body is going to break.  I don't think I can do this."

I hear my doula say "Nicole, you can do this.  You have to do this."

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

It was then my labor shifts.  I give in to my body.  I let go of any thoughts, I let go of the control I was holding onto and the idea that I was going to have a water birth.  I trust my body.  I know it is capable and wonderful and the gift I am about to receive doesn't care where we met.  We can meet in water, on the floor, in a bed, it doesn't matter.

I tell my team I need to move to the bed.  It's in the transition to the bed that I see the daylight peeking out from the curtains.  It's very obvious it's morning.  Not dawn, but morning.

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I labor on my side on the bed but I am not pushing correctly.  I have been up for over 24 hours at this point and am very tired. Marylin can tell I need guidance pushing. She proceeds to insert her fingers in me and instructs me to push them out.  Once I do this task she says "That's how I need you to push."

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

I remember having a deep eyelock with her and we both knew this is not the right position I need to get this baby out.

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

I am moved to a birth stool where I feel a completely different kind of labor.  The gravity and position que something in my brain.  I am pushing in a way I didn't think is possible.  I can hear Marylin say "I can see the top of his head" and then I feel it.  The ring of fire.  It's the only part of labor pain I can clearly remember in detail and I am going to be very honest and frank about this part because no one told me how it feels and I think calling it a "ring of fire" is almost sugar coating it.

It feels like a rusty chainsaw being shoved up your vagina then being twisted and slowly pulled out.

BUT

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

It lasts for only a few minutes and after that pain I could feel his head and shoulders slip out.

Pushing a baby out it the most relieving feeling in the world and in an instant I had my sweet lil boy in my arms.

Caspian was born on July 23rd at 10:53 am.  Perfectly healthy, happy and a Leo just like me. 

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

Copyright Nicole Burron

A HUGE thank you to the incredible staff at Andaluz Water Birth Center for providing the most amazing support during pregnancy, labor and postpartum care.  Extra love to Marilyn who is our fairy godmother.

We could not have done this without the guidance and support of our doula Brooke at Portland Doula and Birth Services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Look // Casual Chic

This post contains affiliate links.  Photo by Carla Juliette. Copyright Nicole Burron. Location: The Duniway in Portland Oregon

This post contains affiliate links.  Photo by Carla Juliette. Copyright Nicole Burron. Location: The Duniway in Portland Oregon

Casual looks can still be chic and a lil pop of sparkle can elevate any look to make it glam. This look would be great for holiday party bar hopping or multiple friends home parties. Keep reading to shop the post and a chance to win a $1,000 ASOS giftcard! 

 

Photo by Carla Juliette. Copyright Nicole Burron. 

Photo by Carla Juliette. Copyright Nicole Burron. 

  I love this hunter green mini dress from Lulu's.  It has a beautiful delicate star embroidery with an open ruffle back.  Below I linked some similar green and star print dresses.

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron.

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron.

I opted out of jewelry and decided to wear a beret to give it that touch of parisian charm.  

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron.

Photo by Carla Juliette.  Copyright Nicole Burron.

To keep the look both warm and casual I wore opaque tights under the dress with some embellished ankle boots.  Whenever I am going to be walking a lot but still want to keep a look somewhat dressy I like to layer dresses with tights and boots with a comfortable heel but some fun embroidery or print.

Photo by Carla Juliette. Copyright Nicole Burron.

Photo by Carla Juliette. Copyright Nicole Burron.

This cute sequin jacket is a vintage piece from Shop Brett Adam but I linked some similar pieces below.  The cropped cut keeps it flirty and fun. 

Photo by Carla Juliette. Copyright Nicole Burron. 

Photo by Carla Juliette. Copyright Nicole Burron. 

Hey everyone! Today I'm so excited to be bringing you another awesome giveaway! I am teaming up with some amazing bloggers to offer a $1000 ASOS Gift Card, perfect for all the fashionistas out there! This giveaway goes from 12/17-12/24 and will be open internationally! To enter, just complete the entries in the Rafflecopter widget below! Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holiday Look // Leopard Coat

This post contains affiliate links.  Photo by Carla Juliette, Copyright Nicole Burron

This post contains affiliate links.  Photo by Carla Juliette, Copyright Nicole Burron

I love long black dresses for holiday parties but I think it's important to spice it up with some print so it doesn't look like you're going to a funereal.  

Photo by Carla Juliette, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo by Carla Juliette, Copyright Nicole Burron

I always think a touch of sheer is incredibly sexy and with the right slip and a long maxi length it keeps everything covered and classy.

Below are some gorgeous sheer maxi dresses all under $70

Photo by Carla Juliette, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo by Carla Juliette, Copyright Nicole Burron

It's important the dress slip be both practical and comfortable.  I linked two below that are buttery soft and come in 8 different hues.  I personal own multiple ones! Add a corset belt to help cinch the waist and create a feminine silhouette. 

Photo by Carla Juliette, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo by Carla Juliette, Copyright Nicole Burron

To help break up the all black silhouette I paired the look with jewel toned statement earrings and heels with a little embellishment.  The red earrings I am wearing are linked below and come in a few different colors. 

Photo by Carla Juliette, Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo by Carla Juliette, Copyright Nicole Burron

Leopard is bold but since it's neutral colors it's easy to pair with.  Plus, you won't have to worry about the coat check loosing it since it will stand out.

My particular coat is from TART Collections.  I'm wearing a size Small. It's incredibly warm, lined and has pockets! You can shop it by clicking here.

Use code: LEONORA15 to save 15% off your entire order on TART Collections website(valid until 12/31)

Below I also linked a few other great coat options. 

Mystic Gift Guide

This post contains affiliate links. Photo Copyright Nicole Burron 

This post contains affiliate links. Photo Copyright Nicole Burron 

It's no big secret that I am obssed with mystical things.  Zodiac signs, Tarot cards, palm reading, crystals GIVE ME IT ALL.  So this gift guide is for anyone in your life who also may have similar interested.

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I am building a pretty sweet collection of necklaces with zodiac signs and constellations on them.  I love these selections because they are simple enough to fit any personal style and are great for layering with longer chains or chokers. 

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I just got this dress in the navy hue and I am absolutely obsessed.  I've seen similar dresses for triple the price tag.  I love that it comes in both colors and the mixed media embroidery of constellations, suns and moons. If you want a looser fit like shown above I would size up!  It has adjustable straps and slight stretch. 

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I don't anyone who doesn't love a fun mug.  This gift is great for a co-worker.  It's personal, gender neutral, perfect for work and budget friendly.  Add the fixings for hot chocolate or some tea bags to jazz it up! 

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Traditionally a person's first tarot card deck should be gifted to them.  If you have a friend or family member who has expressed interest in tarot then this is the gift for them.  In the linked decks below all the artwork is original as well so go with your gut and what you think they will connect with most.  

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This is for the crystal lover and collector.  This item is incredibly unique and one of a kind.  Every time I am out and about my bottle I get so many questions and compliments on it. The bottle comes in your choice of 4 different crystals to choose from and was created by a woman in Colorado.  It's amazing to have watched her business grow into major retail stores.  Below is a breakdown on the crystal choices to help you choose.

Clear Quartz: The stone of ultimate wisdom and total clarity. It harnesses the balancing energy of positivity, healing, connection, and wisdom.

Rose Quartz: The stone of unconditional love. It harnesses the feminine energy of compassion, love, peace, tenderness, healing and nourishment.

Amethyst: The stone of balance and protection. It harnesses the energy of creativity, spirituality, and passion.

Smoky Quartz: The stone of grounding, relaxation, protection and power. Smoky quartz elixirs are perfect for the ambitious and are known to help relieve anxiety.

Clear Quartz: The stone of ultimate wisdom and total clarity. It harnesses the balancing energy of positivity, healing, connection, and wisdom. Rose Quartz: The stone of unconditional love. It harnesses the feminine energy of compassion, love, peace, tenderness, healing and nourishment. Amethyst: The stone of balance and protection. It harnesses the energy of creativity, spirituality, and passion. Smoky Quartz: The stone of grounding, relaxation, protection and power. Smoky quartz elixirs are perfect for the ambitious and are known to help relieve anxiety.

Holiday Look // Velvet Edition

This post contains affiliate links.  Copyright Nicole Burron, Photo by Carla Juliett 

This post contains affiliate links.  Copyright Nicole Burron, Photo by Carla Juliett 

It is holiday party madness so I wanted to share 4 looks with you for all your party needs.  For today's edition it's all about a velvet statement. I love velvet and it's a great material for winter.  It's warm, inviting and looks super luxurious no matter what.

Copyright Nicole Burron, Photo by Carla Juliett

Copyright Nicole Burron, Photo by Carla Juliett

This one shoulder draped dress is a showstopper, plus it comes in three colors.  It's not too short and the single cold shoulder shows the perfect amount of skin without freezing your lil reindeer bum off.  This particular dress I feel runs true to size but has some stretch to it.  I paired it with some light gold heels that have simple straps to elongate the legs and a simple tassel necklace.  

Copyright Nicole Burron, Photo by Carla Juliett

Copyright Nicole Burron, Photo by Carla Juliett

It's important to not overwhelm a velvet dress with too many accessories.  Let the dress be the key focal point of the look.

You can shop the look below

 

Photos by: Carla Juliett

Location: The Rabbit Hole at The Duniway Hotel in Portland Oregon

Staying True To My Love Language with Country Financial

This post is sponsored by Country Financial.  All thought and opinions are my own.

I could never give up my way to show love.  I love to give gifts and the holidays are practically made for me to spread love this way.  I spent the last month budgeting and saving so I can splurge on my husband but also have money to put away for Caspians future.  Below are some tips I have for budgeting and saving to ensure a bright future for you and your family.

 

- Only take cash with you when you go out for things like: concerts, happy hour and brunch so you don't overspend 

- Check your bank account daily to ensure you're on track 

- Set alarms in your calendar to pay your credit card bills before their due date each month 

- Use online coupon code searches to save money online and instore! (usually stores will honor online discounts if you ask)

- Make a list when you go grocery shopping and avoid shopping on an empty stomach, you'll end up buying food you won't end up eating!

- Clean out your closet every season and look into resale websites to sell that cocktail dress you only wore once to your cousin's wedding last year! Donate more wearable pieces like jeans, sweaters and attire appropriate for job interviews

- Take other simple steps with Country Financial here: https://info.countryfinancial.com/SimpleSteps

Not Your Average Baby Bag // Sticks + Stones

This post contains affiliate links. Post is sponsored by Sticks + Stones, all opinions are my own. Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

This post contains affiliate links. Post is sponsored by Sticks + Stones, all opinions are my own. Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Baby bags are great but they are also huge and I don't love having to carry around a baby bag and a purse. Most of the time I am out and about I don't need a huge baby bag with me.  I'll usually bring it and leave it in the car but still find there are certain baby essentials I need in my purse while I'm at the grocery store, having coffee or even out to dinner. 

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

 I admit I like feeling stylish so finding a bag that will hold all my things plus the must have baby essentials is important to me.  I love this unique bag from Sticks + Stones. It's a backpack so it's easy to sling over my shoulder but is still modern and chic.  I don't have to worry about items spilling out since it has a zipper closure.  There is a buckle clasp on the outside to fold it partially it without it feeling bulky like a lot of backpacks can feel to me and a larger pocket outside of the bag that is the perfect size to slip my iPhone in because let's be real, I need easy access to my phone so I can take a million pictures of my baby boy. 

You can shop the Leela bag here: Leela Sticks + Stones Bag

 

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

So what's in my bag?  I've narrowed my musthave items below.

1. Pampers Swaddlers-  4 months in and our little one has only had ONE blow out in public to date.  I credit Pampers Swaddlers to this.  I've tried a few other brands and so far nothing beats them! He's currently a size 2, 4 months and around 14 pounds. Make sure to always check sizes for every brand! 

2. Scented Dog Poop Bags- Finding a trash can while we're out and about isn't always easy and I don't want to stink up the bathroom with a dirty diaper.  I know they make special bags for baby diapers but I found the lavender scented dog poop bags work just as well! Plus if you have dogs already it's basically a 2-for-1 deal.

3. Teether Toy/Rattle-  I always keep a toy or two in my bag.  My baby is an early teether but he also loves to grasp things with his hand right now so this keeps him occupied in his stroller or carseat.

4. Travel Baby Wipes- Having the smaller and thinner pack is not only lighter weight wise but it takes up less room.  Most baby wipe packs are extremely thick and heavy so getting a travel size is ideal for your purse.

5. Comotomo Bottle-  Our lil one loves these bottles.  They also are not glass and come in a nice compact ball-ish shape to take up less room.  The smallest size holds up to 5 ounces!

6. Formula Dispenser- Our baby is on formula and having a travel dispenser is ideal and provides quick pre-measured amounts for feedings. 

 

You can shop the items below by clicking on the images

Animal Lover Gift Guide

This post contains affiliate links.  Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

This post contains affiliate links.  Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

It's no secret to those near and dear to me that I am obsessed with my dogs.  I also an known for sharing multiple videos of cute baby animals and pleading for my Facebook family and friends to donate to animal rescues.  So if you know someone who is sending you funny cat memes, puts their change in ASPCA donation box at the grocery store or refers to their children as "fur babies" then this is the gif guide for them.

I rounded up some gifts I have loved or would love!

 

Photo by Pixie Project/Fetch Eyewear 

Photo by Pixie Project/Fetch Eyewear 

I personally own a pair of Fetch eyewear glasses and not only do they have an amazing selection of frames (sunglasses included!) but 100% of the proceeds go to pets in need! Think veterinary costs, local rescues and low-cost spay and neutering.  They offer in home try-ons and are located in multiple retailers across the US. If you don't know your animal lover prescription or maybe are unsure if those tortoise shell sunglass frames are exactly their style don't fret!  They also offer gift cards.  Your animal lover will have their peppers in style while helping animals in need.

You can visit Fetch here: https://www.fetcheyewear.com/

 

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Last year my hubby surprised me with two ornaments with our dogs paw prints in them. I legit cried.  I love the idea of having these forever to decorate our tree with for all the years to come.  This is such a sweet and special gift and under $11.

Buy it here: http://bit.ly/2iXVliu

Photo via Melissa Smith

Photo via Melissa Smith

One of my favorite gifts I have ever received is a custom painting of myself with my dog.  I don't know any dog/cat owner who wouldn't love a custom piece of art/decor showcasing their beloved fur child.  Below I linked some talented artists and companies who specialize in creating custom pet artwork and home decor!

Scan over the image for details and click to shop.

Photo via Groupon 

Photo via Groupon 

The best gift you can give a dog owner?  GIFTS FOR THEIR DOGS.  Seriously, nothing brings us more joy than watching them dig into a good bully stick or rip the stuffing out of a new toy.  We love when other people spoil our dogs.  BarkBox is an amazing subscription box service for dogs. You just need to choose between three size options and then they deliver it straight to the dog owners door.  You can sign up for one month, 6 month or 12 month subscriptions.  

If you use my special code you even get your first box FREE: https://www.barkbox.com/r/RTGNK8IR1H

If you're still feeling hungry for some small gifts or have a more specific budget below I linked shoppable boutiques for dog lovers and cat lover.  All the gift are $50 or under! Just scan over the image with your mouse or finger (if you're on your mobile) and tap to shop.

 


Cat Lover Boutique


Dog Lover Boutique

Baked Brie Dip

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Thanksgiving is this week plus a million and one holiday parties are about to fill up your calendar.  I don't believe in showing up without food to a festive event if it's held in someone's home.  This baked brie dip is an insanely easy take on the classic baked brie and still holds that fabulous luxuious taste. 

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

All ingredients were purchased at Trader Joe's.

Ingredients:

- Brie wedge (do NOT get the low fat kind...no bueno for this type of recipe)

- Crushed dry roasted unsalted pecans

- Honey

- Brown sugar 

- Rosemary (for garnish)

- Butter crackers 

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Start by cutting the brie into small bite size pieces and layer the pieces.  I like to try and keep them from touching the sides so they they can melt out properly. 

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over brie.

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Then add about 1/4 cup of pecans but feel free to add more or less.  I like the extra nutty crunch. 

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

I am a rebel with my honey and don't measure it.  I just squeeze my lil bear bottle and go to town.  If you're feeling extra you can get some local honey and it will help fight any seasonal allergies!

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Place cast iron skillet OR a glass safe dish in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes on the top rack.  You can also microwave this in a microwave safe dish for 2 minutes on high.  DO NOT add the rosemary beforehand.

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Let cool 2 minutes, add rosemary for garnish and serve with butter crackers and/or apple slices.

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

Photo Copyright Nicole Burron

So. Damn. Good. 

College Savings for the Future // Country Financial

This post is sponsored by Country Financial.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. Photo Copyright of Nicole Burron.

This post is sponsored by Country Financial.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. Photo Copyright of Nicole Burron.

 

Do you ever look back at high school and think, “I wish they would have taught a class about debt and finances.”  BECAUSE I DO.  You can argue that it’s a parent’s responsibility to teach their children but I know so many people who were never properly educated on how debt works.  I constantly hear about my friends having to pay off student loans and how they take out multiple credit cards to pay other expenses so a huge portion of their paycheck can go to their student loan debt.  I on the other hand didn’t even own a credit card until five years ago.  I am still building my credit so we can be approved for a loan on a house and I really wish I would have known how important credit was when I was younger.  Especially good credit.

I am very fortunate that my dad worked his whole life to make sure his children would never have to worry about paying for college but this also means that I don’t have the best concept of money and savings on a large scale. My husband is the exact opposite.  He is still paying off his student loans and is amazing at budgeting and saving.  So now that we have a child of our own we are in this fun world of compromise.  We know that we want our son to go to college and we don’t want him to have to worry about being burdened with paying off student loans after he graduates and possibly going into credit card debt.  We also know we don’t want to have to take out a loan in the future to pay for his college, so it only makes sense for us to start savings for his college education now so we don’t run into any of these issues in the future. 

Now imagine how fun it is for me to Google about these things because I still don’t understand them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to.  I’m slowly learning and will definitely need my hubby to explain in depth more since I did not take out a student loan but currently I am browsing Country Financial www.countryfinancial.com/simplesteps  Baby steps, for me, for my son’s future.  

I got fillers // Skin By Lovely

Treatment provided by Skin By Lovely in exchange for review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.  

Treatment provided by Skin By Lovely in exchange for review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.  

Fillers.

I don't really know the perfect way to start this blog post but I think it's important to say I did NOT get fillers because anyone implied I needed them.  I did NOT get them to look like a different person.  I did NOT do it for anyone else other than myself. My experience with Skin By Lovely was absolutely amazing and I am so excited to share the results, but first I am sharing my story of why I got fillers and then I will move on to the good stuff. 

Not that long ago something sort of drastic happened to my face.  My eyes suddenly aged about 10 years. It literally felt like it happened overnight.  I suddenly had these huge bags under my eyes.  So I looked up some lifestyle reasons this could be happening.

Lack of sleep I slept pretty well but focused more on making sure I was getting a good solid 8 hours a night

Diet I decided to eat a mostly plant based diet and watch my salt intake

-Smoking I don't smoke so this did not apply

Drinking  I drank but not excessively but I decided to monitor my drinking even more.

I applied the changes and still my eye bags were there, if not getting worse.  So I opted to see a fancy Beverly Hills dermatologist (I was living in LA at the time)  He initially flat out told me it was probably hereditary.  COOL.  He offered some insanely expensive topical eye cream which I bought and ran out of a month later.  I didn't see any results and also realized I would be spending about $1,400 a year on something that MAYBE would work in 3 months?  

So then I got product crazy and started trying everything that had a positive review on Sephora, Ulta and recommendations from friends.  But none of them worked and I spent more money than I would like to admit on topical treatments.  With a few I saw maybe a 5% improvement but they also came with dry under eye skin, burning, redness and lots of other not so fun things.  That area of skin is super delicate and sensitive and mine had been put through the ringer. 

 

It turns out most under eye creams cannot fix the problem.  The reason a lot of us get under eye bags is because we lose the happy yummy good fat under our eyes as we age and usually that's the first place we lose it.  Bonus, the rate of how quickly you lose it can be genetic. Yes, some topical under eye products can work to plump the first superficial layer of skin or help depuff the under eye area but I basically had lost a ton of that yummy youthful fat under my eyes and there was no way around it.  Nothing topical would replace the problem because the problem was under the skin.

So then add mommyhood.  It's true what they say.  You don't sleep.  I mean...you DO but it's not the splendid restful full 7-8 hours sleep I would once get.  I could see the exhaustion on my face and I personally was not a fan.  I am a person that if I look good, I feel good.  My skin was starting to change from the hormones dropping and I was awaiting the hair loss (which happened this week). I do not feel I need to sacrifice my own self confidence to be a mother. With my skin breaking out I went back on my oral acne medication.  With my hair loss I am now taking vitamins and so with my under eye bags, if there was a solution....I was going to take it.***

 

Skin_by_Lovely_Under_Eye_Filler

I want you to look at this picture.  It's pretty obvious there is a difference. When I showed this to friends before posting this they said "You just look more rested".  Which is EXACTLY what I wanted. I wanted it to be subtle to the naked eye but a fast improvement than before. Do I love the results? YES.  But did I have fears about getting fillers? YES. So below I want to address my own personal fears about fillers.

I didn't want to look not like "me"

I really just wanted to look like the best version of myself. I had actually had a session of fillers to my under eyes done previously in LA before my wedding by a different cosmetic office and while I did love the first round of results the man who did them was very quick to add all the other places he would like to do more and other cosmetic procedures he thought I could "benefit" from.  Skin by Lovely is the exact opposite.  They listened to my concerns of areas and offered insight on what they felt would be the best treatment to get the results I desired but they are also very conservative to give natural looking results.  They never once pushed other procedures onto me. We also had multiple sessions to see how the filler settled and how I liked the results. They really wanted me to not only be happy with how I looked but also were cautious to not overfill in areas to avoid bruising and unnecessary redness. 

I was scared it would hurt

 I forgot the feeling of having them done but Skin By Lovely did an amazing job of offering a ball for me to squeeze, queuing deep breathes and icing the area before hand. Tereasa (who does my injections) is always checking in on me to see how I am feeling during the procedure and would let me know if I should expect a certain sensation.  It honestly doesn't hurt.  A few times there would be a small pinch sensation.  It does feel odd.  There is numbing solution in the filler so once the injection is done she would apply pressure with her fingertips to fill in the areas and since the under eyes are a bit delicate it just feels a little weird.

 

What is this stuff they are putting in my face?

Of course I had reservations of what was being injected into me.  So what IS Restylane Silk? It is a hyaluronic acid (HA) filler FDA-approved to last 6-8 months, however it may last longer depending on your anatomy.  Also, it metabolizes. Tereasa did an amazing job answering why she choose that product specifically for me and how it works. 

 

How long does it last?

Results will vary but usually a year and depending on how your body metabolises it it could last up to two years. 

 

Needless to say all my concerns were addressed by the staff at Skin By Lovely and while I love the results it's the extra above and beyond they go to that will keep me coming back to them and referring them to friends that have inquired about treatment.  Their staff is attentive and caring.  Their offices are beautiful, warm and inviting. They even offer an amazing range of topical products and offer samples. 

Skin By Lovely offers complimentary consultations in both their Portland Oregon and Santa Monica California offices. They also have an awesome blog with skin tips and tricks so make sure to follow them on social media for updates and giveaways. 

Skin By Lovely Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skinbylovely/

Skin By Lovely Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SkinbyLovely/