It Hasn't Been About Me: May Life Lately



Earlier this month I wrote that my goal for the month was to focus on myself and my needs. Well this month I have been so busy taking care of others and putting everyone else ahead of myself. If you follow my blog you can see I haven't been posting. Honestly, I am just not getting the time. So right now I am just going to fill you in a bit on my month so far.

Watching
I've been watching a few more shows. I love Imaginary Mary, Great News, American Housewife, and Pretty Little Liars. I feel like there is something else I am forgetting to mention.

Kiddos
Now that we have the nap situation figured out for my oldest we need to adjust the nap time for the little one. Things with the kids are actually going pretty great. It is really hard work since I mostly take care of them myself. Daddy is generally too busy to be able to help with much.

Wifey Life
Things are complicated still. My husband is pretty much not available. He's a bit more like a roommate than a spouse at this point. He leaves for work before I get up, comes home to do more work, and goes to bed. I'm lucky if we exchange a sentence all day.

Blog Life
My personal life is pretty full right now so the blog life has really been put on the back burner. I was really hoping to add some travel features to the blog but with my husband's busy schedule, I won't be able to take any of the trips I was planning.  I am also continuing my focus on Instagram growth. Honestly, I feel like Instagram is my main platform and my blog is my secondary platform. Which is the opposite of how I imagined things would turn out.

Upcoming
I honestly haven't thought this through yet. I know that after mid June my husbands work will decrease. I'm thinking for June I will really be focusing on the family.

Look Well Rested Beauty Routine

As a mother of two little boys, I never get enough sleep. While I may feel like I could fall asleep standing up, I try my best to not look like it. Obviously getting more sleep would be the best solution, but we all know it isn't that simple. Crying babies don't care about your beauty sleep.

If you wake up feeling refreshed and looking amazing, you are so lucky. If you are like me and need a bit of help to not look like the living dead, then keep reading.

Disclosure: VII Code provided me with the eye mask in exchange for a review. As always, all opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links. Should you make a purchase I will make a small commission at no added cost to you.

Stay Hydrated

You need to try and drink plenty of water throughout the day.  Also, that nighttime glass of wine isn't going to do you any beauty favors. Sorry. 

So why drink water? Without drinking the proper amount of water your skin appears duller, pores are larger, and wrinkles are more prominent. 

Prep Your Skin

Really nighttime is the best time to use products like serums and moisturizers for a variety of reasons. 

First you don't have to worry about the sun. Some stronger serums need to either be worn with a sunscreen or you need to avoid exposure to the sun. Neither is a problem at night. 

Second, your body does all sorts of amazing things while you sleep. During the night your body restores and revives itself meaning anything you put on your face at night will be extra efficient. 

Also you can look as crazy as you want with cream and patches and nobody is going to see you! 

I have a pretty easy routine at night that changes depending on the needs of my skin. Your routine will need to be customized to your skin concerns.

I'll share my current routine as an example.

Every Other Night Use VII Code Oxygen Eye Masks
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye Cream when not using eye mask

VII CODE Oxygen Eye Masks


If you are looking for an eye mask, I really recommend the VII Code. It is an 8 hour overnight treatment. Yes, you read that right, an entire eight hours. You put them on before bed and wear them while you sleep. I was concerned they would come off in the middle of the night.  But after using them, I know there is no reason to worry. They wont come off when you are sleeping. I toss and turn all night and still had mine on in the morning.

I've tried a ton of eye masks and I've not seen any like these. Most masks are only worn for twenty minutes. A lot of other masks I've tried are either really dry and don't do anything or really wet and won't stay on your face. My favorite part is the cooling gel on the back. It keeps the mask on your face and feels really great on the skin. You can feel it working right away!

In the morning, I wake up and the bags under my eyes look so much brighter and more lively.  I've only been using the VII Code Oxygen Eye Mask  for a couple of weeks and can see a major improvement. I can't wait to see how much better my dark circles look after a complete course of three boxes. 




As for the sleeping mask, I pick which I am going to use based on how my skin is feeling. The Dior is so light and refreshing. The Clinique is a creamier consistency making it better a great solution for skin that is a bit dry but without being too greasy on my combination skin. If you have super dry skin, I'd recommend the Origins sleep mask as it the thickest of the sleep masks that I have tried so far.   



PS I've tried a ton of eye masks. It wasn't until recently that I realized I had  been putting them on the wrong way! Thanks to VII Code and their visual instructions, I won't be making that embarrassing mistake again.

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to waking up looking well rested. On the first night you might not see a dramatic difference, but after a couple of weeks you will find your natural radiance returning when you wake in the morning.

Also, don't forget this post I wrote about nighttime routines for more tips and tricks on how to sleep better. 

I See Me Makes Reading Fun

Growing up, I absolutely loved reading. As a mom, I really want my kids to love it too.  If you are a mom, I am betting you have the same hopes for your kids too, even if you weren't much of a reader. As parents, we know just how important it is to read to our children. Of course the kids don't understand the importance, they just want it to be fun.

My oldest wasn't very interested in books at first. He was all about moving and wouldn't sit still for a story. After some time of reading on a regular basis, my oldest started to love reading. Now he even reads to me. Well, he tries to tell me the story as best as he can for a 2.5 year old.

I had seen custom books before and thought they would be really cool. My oldest already enjoys pointing himself and his brother out in pictures. He also loves when I talk about him. So when I See Me! offered to gift our family with a customized book to review, I jumped on the opportunity.

Disclosure: I See Me! provided me with the book in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own. I also want you to know that I only do sponsored posts for products I truly recommend. 

I See Me Books


They have so many great options. When I saw We Go Together Like... I knew it was the one I had to get. With one book I could have it customized for both of my boys! Plus I want to reinforce the notion that while they are brothers, they are also friends. So if you have a pair of kiddos, this is the book I would recommend if you could only purchase one book. Of course, I want to purchase one for each kiddo. My oldest loves trucks so for him I might get My Very Own Trucks  and for the little one I love the board book It's My NIGHT NIGHT Time.

Ordering the book was a breeze. They made the customization process so simple and easy to understand.  For our book,  I chose to include a picture of my two boys and a dedication.

I See Me! also offers a wide range of personalized gifts and products including puzzles, lunch boxes, stickers, and more.

I See Me Books

It's All About May: May Goals Post



For April, I didn't really do any of my goals. Okay, I attempted to make a bullet journal but that is about it. I didn't even try to do any of the others. I think I went to the gym a total of 4 times for the month. I gained weight instead of losing it. I didn't meal plan and I quit my food tracking after 3 days.

Honestly life has been a bit cray cray (Do people still say that?). I am barely keeping my head above water. So for May, I am not really going to do goals in my traditional Type A personality way. I am going to go with the flow of things this month instead of trying to swim against the current!

For the month of May, my goal (Yes, only one!) is to make it all about me! I've had so little time for myself. I honestly don't know what this will look like at this point but I will be pulling from my post on self-care for starters. Obviously my kiddos are priority, but when making other decisions I'm going to think about what I need. Sounds selfish, right? I know, but I have a feeling this month of me is going to be the best thing I've done in a while.

I do have my one new thing for the month too but I've yet to completely develop the idea!

Not really goal related, but I do have a ton of really great things going on this month.

I am going to be adding a new category to the blog and have been planning a couple of posts. Though they probably won't get posted until June, I will be working on them this month. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll get to see some teasers later this month about my new posts! Speaking of Instagram, I just hit 10k followers! I'm thinking of doing a giveaway to celebrate.

In addition to the new category, I have some really great partnerships this month that I cannot wait to share with you. While I can't go into specifics yet, I can hint at some of the topics: beauty, parenting, and summer entertaining.

All of these great projects come with deadlines of course so they will have to be worked in among my month of me.

What do you think will come from my month of me? Are you good at making yourself a priority?

Bullet Journaling For The Artistically Challenged

In March I went to a bath bomb making class with a group of bloggers from Portland. While I was there, I met Cindy, from Classic Sidewalk. Her blog is all about planning an adventurous life, a concept that I found intriguing since I had decided to do something new each month. Anyway. We talked at length about bullet journaling. It was then that I decided that bullet journaling would be my something new for the month of April.

When I looked at Cindy's bullet journaling posts, I was a little overwhelmed. Her journal was so neat and pretty. I also saw that she regularly did things like calligraphy and painting with watercolors. I felt way out of my league. I love thinking I'm artistic. I also love trying crafts. But to be honest, I have many more Pinterest fails than successes. Needless to say I was a bit worried about what I had gotten myself into.

PS This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I will make a commission at no added cost to you. 

Bullet Journaling Supplies

Bullet Journal Basic Supplies


Technically you can use any paper or pen for your bullet journal. However, I wanted to make sure I had the best supplies. I wanted to make sure there was limited bleed through and no smudging. Smudging is the worst. I did a ton of reading on which supplies to get. I decided to start with the minimum. If I liked bullet journaling enough, I could always buy fancy pens and washi tape later.

The Journal

Through all of my reading there were two journals that stood out in the recommendations.

The more budget friendly option is Moleskine. It is readily available at a variety of stores. You can buy a soft cover or hard cover version. The paper comes unlined, lined, dotted or squared. It really provides for a lot of options. Ultimately, I didn't pick this one because a number of bloggers mentioned that the paper had more bleed through than other more expensive journals. I didn't want to test out multiple journals so I couldn't tell you from personal experience whether this is true or not.

I ended up selecting the Leuchtturm1917 for my journal because it had the most recommendations. I had a hard time picking between a soft and hard cover but ultimately went with a hardcover, again, because it was the most recommended option.

The Pens

I know this might sound strange, but I love a good pen. I'm pretty particular about the color and size. It must be black and it can't be too fine. However when it come to bullet journaling I needed to think about drawing lines as well as writing.

For my pens, I picked up Staedtler Pigment Liners in .3 and .5. Those sizes where recommended across multiple bullet journaling posts that I read. However, after actually using them, I would have gone with finer points. There were other recommendations as far as pen brand including Marvy Le Pen Technical Drawing Pens and Sakura Pigma Micron Pens among others.

For those that want to use color, all of the posts I read recommended the Tombow Dual Brush Pens and Zebra Mildliners. I didn't buy any color options because I wanted to see if I could get a handle on just the basics of bullet journaling first. The creative part with colors would have to come later, if at all.


The Tools

I cannot draw a straight line even with a ruler. Yes, I said it. How is that even possible? Well the key to drawing a straight line is making sure the ruler is straight. Somehow I can't manage to do that. Mark me down as an artistically challenged loser. I will be showing you how mine looked here in a minute.

While the ruler only improves my ability marginally, I'm betting you all would have much better luck with keeping your ruler straight.

The journal that I purchased has a cute little pocket in the back, so I ordered a cute small ruler to keep in there. This way I will have the perfect sized ruler with me whenever I decided to work on my bullet journal.

The Extras

Of course, the list of extras that can be used when bullet journaling is endless, but I will highlight a few that were consistently mentioned in posts that I read.

A circler: Used to draw perfect circles in your bullet journal
A protractor: Used to divide your circles into sections
Washi tape: Can be used decoratively as an accent or as page markers and dividers
Stickers: Used to decorate your bullet journal
Practice journal: This is for the hardcore to practice new layouts before using them in their official journal

My Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal Monthly Layout


***Disclaimer: All of my pages were made in the middle of the night when I was dead tired. I'd like to think I'd do better when I was a bit more rested***This first photo is of my monthly overview. On the first page you can see I didn't divide my day blocks evenly. Also you can see every place my hand wobbled.

Bullet Journal Weekly View


This is an example of one of my weekly pages. Well it was the page with the least mistakes and you can still see quite a few. The section on the right was supposed to be for meal planning, but really it was too small of a space. Later weeks I thought I would use that space to record how much water I drank, but I didn't use that either.

Overall

I am sorry to say that bullet journaling is not for me and I won't be continuing it after this month. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to devote to it (or the needed skills).Creating perfectly straight lines and error proof entries is time consuming. It is also a bit stressful for me. I actually dreaded filling our my bullet journal and wanted to quit after the first week. The one positive that came from this is my new found appreciation for my planner. It is simple, pretty, and no rulers are needed.

Bullet Journaling For The Artistically Challenged