In the beginning, Life Changes

YouTube: Journey to Mommy

I’m on YouTube! Below is a link to my newest unboxing video.

I decided to start posting on YouTube a few months ago because it is easier to show products in a video. I have a few review and unboxing videos but going forward I will have more. I plan on having 3 playlists for now: health and fitness, unboxing and reviews as well as my YouTube adventure.

Health and Fitness will at times replace the blog because I’ve been failing to update it since I haven’t made any real progress. I feel YouTube will give me the opportunity to quickly own up to my healthy lifestyle struggle rather than having a repetitive apology blog. Reviews and Unboxing are fun things I like to do because sometimes (esp when buying online) you need to see how an item looks while in motion. And you want to see someone you know trying it out. My YouTube adventure will be an amusing look at the process I’m going through to start my channel and work through anything that comes up.

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I hope you’ll join me on YouTube as Journey to Mommy starts creating videos 🙂 And thank you for reading and subscribing to my blog. It means a lot when I see people not only found my tiny corner of the internet but also liked what they saw and chose to stick around ❤

 

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In the beginning, Life Changes, Reviews, Self Care

Putting It Out There – Career/ Business

I’ve often wondered how reviewer/ product testers get in contact with their favorite brands in order to get sponsored. I’ve looked into a few things on my own but not many end up being real. I am here to ask for advice from people capable of pointing me in the right direction. I know all information comes with BUTs because no one can guarantee a company will have any use for what I can provide; detailed reviews and suggestions for improvements but any useful advice would be very much appreciated.

Drum Roll please:

Target Corporation – This has been a favorite of mine for years and I frequently refer to it as my happy place. 2 of the 3 other companies mentioned were discovered at Target. The Starbucks inside are an added bonus.

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Just started using big pack of wipes; I normally use the paper masks

Yes To, Inc. – Specifically Tomatoes. I love their sheet masks but I can’t use them as often as I like so I am not positive they work so much as I enjoy using them during my Spa Day.

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Out of wipes so this is just an empty package 🙂

SheaMoisture – Favorite products African Black Soap: Clarifying Mud Mask, Body Wash & Clarifying Facial Wipes; Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Head-to-Toe and last but not least Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner. They also have makeup I would love to try.

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Need to restock my oils because this is all I have left

NOW Foods – ALL THE OILS!!! I’m kidding I haven’t tried them all (though I’m working on it) but I am obsessed with a lot of them. I’ll name my top 3 there are a lot: Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Grapeseed/ Avocado (these I use interchangeably).

There you have it. It is now in the universe and even though I will not give up in pursuing these brands I’m hoping someone with the knowledge I need finds my space and points me in the right direction. Also this is not me saying I wouldn’t be open to other brands especially ones with natural ingredients, fair trade practices or local businesses. I’m simply saying this is a list of companies I currently use/ go to.

PS – I’m counting this as a digital Vision Board because lets face it it would be a dream come true to have my favorite brands find my corner of the internet.

In the beginning, Life Changes, Self Care

My Intro to Self Care

I’ve been feeling lousy lately. Between allergies, fickle weather, yard work, cleaning and taking care of a very active child I’ve ignored myself to the point of getting sick. I’m typing this with a stack of fast food napkins (ran out of facial tissue…), hand sanitizer and cold coffee in front of me while my son sleeps off his late night party session. My face is swollen, pain behind my eyes and my body still hurts from the yard work I did on Sunday because I am horribly out of shape which I’m proud to say I will have a decent weight post coming soon. I write all of this to set the stage for my snap. Yes, I said snap.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t help anyone else because all I wanted to do was cry, drink wine and go to sleep. However my new healthy lifestyle dictates that I find alternative ways of healing and relaxing other than my good friend Merlot or my BFF food. Now I would like to make it clear I still had wine but only one glass (6oz) well technically mug but that was because it didn’t feel safe to take a wine glass in the tub with me as I was already tired and didn’t want to add ‘cut by glass’ to my list of annoying things.

In walks my hubby 🙂 I simply said I need to take a bath and I don’t want either of you coming in or calling me; this was my snap . He made it happen!!

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I grabbed the products above and prepared to have the most relaxing bath ever.

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I lite my candles then turned off the light and started my Pandora Relaxation station.

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I slowly poured each item in the tub so as to fully enjoy the aromas. First the epsom salt and bath balls which turned the water lavendar like the fragrance. I sat for a second to admire the beauty created by the bath balls. Then the bubble bath which further enhanced the mood. You couldn’t have convinced me I wasn’t in a world class spa. Sure my candles rested on my toilet and my bath tub isn’t perfect but that night I chose to see what I wanted which was a very affordable spa experience.

I truly appreciated the time I spent alone. And though it was very hard for me, I wasn’t thinking about what happened up until that point I was simply soaking up the time I had. While I was focusing on listening to the music and breathing in the allergy friendly level of lavendar that filled the air, I realized I should do this more often. I deserved this time alone to decompress and focus on me. I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to do this but my goal is going to be weekly. Once a week I will schedule time to do nothing. Sometimes it will be a bath, others a mani/pedi and when funds allow maybe even a day at the spa. For now I will focus on the time alone rather than the activity so I can be the best version of myself.

In the beginning

Where Have the Pictures Gone?

I’m not sure why but pictures from older posts are no longer there. My only theory is that I deleted the pictures from Media and that’s why they’re no longer there… Well this is simply my way of acknowledging that they’re gone and I haven’t the foggiest way of how to retrieve them. Sorry and going forward I won’t delete anything unless this happens regardless then I’m not sure what I’ll do.

In the beginning

TTC Summary

Below are the highlights of our trying to conceive journey. If you have any questions or would like details please contact me because I’m an open book.

Mar 2014 – Started tracking my cycle on a normal calendar. At that time I thought I was only supposed to mark the first day not how long and other details…

Sept 2014 – Last day of regular tracking and the first day considering different fertility apps to assist with tracking.

Oct 2014 – Found an app called Fertility Friend that allowed me to track everything! I felt extremely hopeful and excited for our next step. The amount of research I did both on the app and medical sources became an obsession. My theory was the more prepared I was the faster we’d get our BFP (big fat positive).

Oct 2014 – Jan 2015 – Tracking my cycle was going great but the temping was getting to be a bit much for me so we decided it’d be in my best interest to stop temping. If you’re interested in finding out more about temping, look up: charting your Basal Body Temperature. The internet has a wealth of information on it as well as other tips for natural family planning but be sure to research each method and the margin of error.

Feb – Mar 2015 – I knew my normal cycle lengths, luteal phase and approximate ovulation date yet no baby. This is around the time I started worrying that something was wrong.

Mar 2015 – I’d already gone through a round of everyone is pregnant except me only to be starting it a second time. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Everyone else seemed to be getting pregnant without any issues. Little did I know everyone had their own struggle whether it was pregnancy related or something else; we all have our demons to fight. My demon seemed to be a super picky uterus… I also ended up having 2 cycles in March which made me even moodier.

Apr 2015 – Last cycle started in March (thanks short cycle) so this month felt long until my prospective changed.

I was on Fertility Friend trying to search for a glimmer of hope before my first fertility related appointment. I had already done the blood test (which came back normal) so I was moving on to the next step… The HSG (hysterosalpingogram) which is a test that checks your uterus and fallopian tubes; for more details please look up the test on a reputable website. I found a forum with the information I was looking for and it proved to be very helpful. After satisfying my curiosity, I decided to keep searching the forums for hope but what I found instead was something that would make me realize how grateful I should be. I won’t go into individual stories in order to maintain privacy but they included trying to conceive for years, irregular cycles, no cycles, costs of fertility treatment along with other issues. In that moment I knew I was focusing on the wrong thing. I wasn’t showing appreciation for all of the things my body was doing. I was only focusing on what it wasn’t doing. I read countless stories that would make a stone cry. Heartbreak after heartbreak yet I was complaining after only a short time. That is when I decided my next cycle would be different. I wasn’t sure how but I knew I’d need to change something.

May 2015 – HSG time. I was more nervous about this test then I was during my pinkie surgery. I was afraid of receiving bad news or really any news other than you’re fine keep trying. I went in on the 5th to get the required pregnancy test. The 6th I started doxycycline to help prevent any type of bacterial infection that could happen after the HSG. The 7th was test day.

May 7-8, 2015 – (Yes the test deserves it’s own date) Everything was going well until my husband said he was running late. That is when I panicked. My husband is my best friend and without him there I felt like someone stole my security blanket. I waited minute after minute hoping he’d rush in at the last second to save me from my own paranoia and self -induced anxiety but he didn’t make it. He was stuck in traffic but it was my turn so I had to go in alone. Side Note: I was later informed that they wouldn’t have allowed him back anyways. The medical assistants were great. They tried to calm my nerves and let me know the radiologist was a male so I’d be prepared. They only said this because I explained to them that I’d only had female doctors in the past. After they got me prep’d he came in and explained how the process worked and what he was going to do. I was nervous the entire time but I had no need to be. During the viewing portion as I called it, I asked why one side didn’t seem to be showing as much dye as the other. His response was “Well you only need one right?!” I was horrified. For the first time in my life I was speechless. I got off of the table (after an awkward moment that I’ll only share if asked because it was that strange…) and felt my heart sink. All I could think of was I’m broken. Thankfully hubby showed up right after and provided much needed comfort. The 8th proved to be very emotional but well worth the results. The RE (registered endocrinologist) called me to ask how I was feeling and to see when I wanted to schedule hubby’s SA. I asked her to clarify results after telling her what the radiologist said. She apologized a few times and let me know everything was fine. She also said it is normal for the radiologist to take a closer look to make sure he/she didn’t miss anything. After thanking her multiple times for clarifying what the radiologist said, I told her I’d have to check with my husband but that I’d give her a call as soon as he let me know.

We decided to try again on our own after the test since people say it can make you more fertile since your lady parts have been rinsed. We also wanted to give it one more try in order to save the money for his test since it was going to be an out-of-pocket expense.

June 2015 – Again thanks to my cycles length I had TWO cycles in May. So even though I write June it technically started 5/30/15.

I figured it out! As I was whining about the test not giving us an immediate BFP, I realized I needed to change my attitude. Pretty much all of 2015 TTC was me worrying, complaining or comparing. I needed to stay positive yet realistic. I’d try according to my fertile window and let the rest go. No more over analyzing or trying to be perfect because no matter how many things you get right pregnancy is still just a 20% chance each month (according to what I’ve read but please don’t take this as medical advice). So I approached the month with a plan to stay positive. Well that plan was challenged hardcore. We were lining things up to start our house hunt plus we were trying this new approach to fertility. We met with an amazing realtor who found us a few great options. She even helped us find a suitable lender (apparently our original one was difficult to work with but we didn’t know that). Everything was going great until our down payment option was removed and I was in a car accident. We tried everything to find another way to get the down payment including other options with our original plan but nothing worked. Then the car accident turned into a big ordeal. All of my positive plans seemed to be going down the drain. As the stress and annoyance increased TTC became the last thing on my mind. I again started to feel down but I reminded myself that my positive thinking didn’t have to be limited to TTC stuff. I was again determined to stay positive.

In the beginning

The Talk

When my husband and I noticed that my birth control (BC) was making me a little loopy we decided I’d stop taking anything hormone related. Since I wasn’t convinced that I wanted kids I researched natural methods for prevention.

I started by looking up natural family planning which led me to Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). In a nutshell you track your cycle in order to identify potential fertile days. Note: I won’t be going into detail because there is a lot of info and right now I want to jump into my story. This seemed great to me because it didn’t involve any chemicals and most praised it for helping them become more familiar with their body. After additional research, I learned A LOT from this method and I figured out it is mostly used for trying to get pregnant. Once we figured out that human error accounted for a lot of people’s complaints about this method we decided to seriously discuss children.

We had the talk… I was nervous at first because my husband and I only had one other serious conversation about children and I didn’t remember how it ended. I started off by telling him everything I knew about the FAM as well as the human error part. We discussed what we’d do if we had kids which included everything that surrounds the topic. By the time we finished I was even more in love with the man I chose to marry. I felt confident that we’d be good parents and that we were on the same page. Life was good.

In the beginning

Figuring this out…

Thank You

If you’re here and reading this then my sincerest thanks because I don’t know what I’m doing. As you can tell by my setup or lack thereof, I’m a beginner. I don’t mean beginner like she planned this out and is figuring it out. I mean I thought of a name and ran with it.

I was sitting at my desk wondering how I could keep all of my thoughts in one place versus having a million journals. I have a journal for fitness, life in general, pregnancy, etc. The more my life changed (changes) the more journals I’d buy and eventually I lost track of what I was writing in each one. That is when it hit me. I needed a blog and I’d call it Journey to Mommy! I didn’t care about the technicalities of a blog I just knew it’d be easier than trying to keep up with 5 separate journals.

Since Journey to Mommy was the first creative thing I came up with in years I wanted to keep the creativity going.
I called my husband to tell him what I’d come up with. He agreed that the name suited me and encouraged me to make it happen. When he said that I thought “hey you need to get this site locked down”. I’m not sure what he said after but he told me how to get a domain and so it began. I raced to set everything up so I could start my mental bump. I secured the domain, email address and quick start information. Well turns out buying a domain is not the same as a blog; that was lesson one. Lesson two was everything costs money when you’re impatient and don’t know what you’re doing. That brings me to this very second. Domain = check. Blog = check. Figuring out how to merge the two = In Progress…