Random Visual Escape

I’ve been wrapped up in my feelings lately. From my own self-image to my titles (mom, wife, etc) to the state of the world. I feel caught up and unable to express myself so I choose to make a blog post of all the beautiful things I’ve seen recently. This is my random visual escape.

I am choosing to see beauty rather than drowning in sorrow.

I hope this post can be a relaxing retreat in this hectic world 🙂

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October Weigh In

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So… I’ll insert details under each goal but keep the same goals for this month. Actually I might keep the same goals until I get it right. When I get it right I will completely change my goal or I’ll modify it to continue challenging myself.

Actual Date: 11/8/2017

Weight: ?lbs

Measurements in inches

Chest: ?

R/L Arm: ?

Waist: ?

Hips: ?

R/L Thigh: ?

Goal(s):

  • Stick to some type of diet/ healthy meal plan (IP)
    • I have made healthier choices
      • Ex: swapping coffee for unsweetened tea (most days)
      • Ex: Penny Date night (detailed post coming soon) rather than simply eating out
  • Read something other than children’s books (Check!!)
    • Jules Verne Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
      • Side note: Adventure, Sci-Fi and mystery are my favs
    • Bonus points because I was able to read it to my son
  • Don’t use motherhood as an excuse (Umm technically check)
    • I didn’t but I still didn’t exercise regularly
    • I did maybe 3-4 workouts; progress but not my goal
  • Post updates every month on or after the 8th in order to hold myself accountable (Check)
    • Yup!! Though nothing has changed (well I don’t think so because I didn’t check)

 

About My Weight/Wait

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Yes, this is the 1st “before” picture I posted but I look the same so I figured why not be lazy and use this 😉

You read that correctly. I waited to write about my weight because I kept hoping I’d have amazing before and after photos. I’m still over the weight I want to be, look like my “before” picture(s) and haven’t seriously stuck to anything. I tired the 4 Hour Body, intermittent fasting and counting calories but I always allowed myself to make excuses; motherhood was my go to excuse (avoids eye contact with fit moms). I don’t have it figured out and I will keep trying things until I find something I like but until I find my happy healthy plan here are my stats and what I hope to achieve.

Actual Date: 10/8/2017

Weight: 230.6lbs

Measurements in inches

Chest: 44

R/L Arm: 15.75/ 15.5

Waist: 41

Hips: 50.5

R/L Thigh: 29.5/ 28.5

Goal(s):

  • Stick to some type of diet/ healthy meal plan
  • Read something other than children’s books
  • Don’t use motherhood as an excuse
  • Post updates every month on or after the 8th in order to hold myself accountable
    • I am considering posting weekly on my Instagram @jtm2015.wordpress so I don’t fall off of whatever wagon I’m on that week

 

Wig-ing Out

I bought a wig on Amazon!!

Brown Sugar Human Blended Lace Front Wig – BS206 (#SR2/REDVELVET) by ISIS HAIR

I’ve been wanting to do something different with my hair for a while now but I was a wishy washy mess when it came to making a decision. Finally what started as a trim turned into a cut which morphed into looking for a wig on Amazon. I spoke with my husband and this was the best routine to avoid any further scissor happy moments.

I looked up red wigs then human hair red wigs then affordable wigs and this pooped up some where during my search. I liked what I saw but was very uncertain about the color as I am of a darker shade and don’t like anything that makes me stand out too much. But after consulting with my husband I decided to take the plunge plus I knew my sister would look great with this color so it wouldn’t be a complete waste of money.

Below are pictures of the wig on me, packaging and instructions. I am by no means a wig expert but I used to buy a lot of them and often so I wanted to review this one based on the knowledge I’ve gained from previous experience.

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  • color looks okay on my skin tone but does take a confident person to wear as it is very bright
  • color is beautiful
  • lace seems short and somewhat stiff but very user friendly
    • I’m not sure how wide the lace part is on other wigs (this is my first lace front) but for my large head it seemed short
    • should mention I didn’t braid it down properly
  • full with minimal shedding

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  • standard wig packaging
  • no smell

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  • loved the instructions for installing the unit and washing
  • comes with double-sided tape

Overall I liked the wig but gave to my sister because I wasn’t comfortable with the color. I plan on buying the same wig in a different color and I will definitely buy more wigs from this brand/ seller.

While this post isn’t sponsored by anyone, I was able to buy it with gift cards I accumulated through taking surveys. I still worked for the gift cards but it wasn’t part of actual regular income more like things I do while my son is napping on me. I have also purchased other things this way. I will try to note when I do but if I forget you can always ask if you’re curious 🙂

Plants

I’ve never been one to garden. The best I’ve ever done was growing a bamboo which literally only required me to add or refresh the water every now and then. However once we bought our home I knew I wanted to try growing things.

I started off simple with established plants which were aloe and snake plants. My mom gave me the aloe which eventually grew large enough to split into 3 pots plus I found an offshoot (name?) at the root which is shown in a small pot on the counter in front of the big group of plants/pots. I bought 2 snake plants from Home Depot which I was super excited about because of how they grow. What I didn’t know was these particular leaves would never get any bigger because the leaves were damaged. This meant I would have to wait for new leaves until I could get the height I was hoping to achieve but I’m glad I didn’t give up because now they are in one pot and doing great! Sorry no picture but I’ll post it to my Instagram if I remember.

I moved on to other succulents because I was told they were hardy like aloe. Womp womp womp… They died because I left them outside in direct sun. Second attempt also not shown was succulents. I brought them indoors and put them in the window thinking they’d be fine but wrong again! The glass acted as a magnifier for the sun and the leaves burned. Thankfully I turned to YouTube and was able to save these; group of 3 pots in same green base.

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After the succulents stayed alive, I tried my hand at seeds. Wheatgrass (not shown) was my seed of choice because I was blending at the time and heard good things about adding it to smoothies. At first things went great! It grew exactly as stated on the package and was super fun to cut. I am allergic to fresh cut grass so this was as close as I could get to mowing a lawn without severe and potentially deadly consequences. That was short lived thanks to some kind of rodent getting into our house. I have no idea what type of rodent it was but boy did it love my wheatgrass. It destroyed all of my hard work but I was able to get rid of it by using the grass. The rodent is no more…

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My newfound seed love lead to basil and mint seed kits from Home Depot. I started with the mint which never actually grew because it was too crowded; I didn’t realize I wasn’t supposed to dump all the seeds into the jar at once… The basil managed to survive because I split the seeds between the jar and baby food jars which I only did so my son could have his own plants.  YAY sharing because if I didn’t I’m sure the basil would’ve had the same outcome as the mint. The basil is hard to see but it is still in the same jar; right side in front of the avocado seeds. Eventually I switched back to established plants: mint, peppers (6 types) and whatever purple-ish leafy plant that is. These are all shown. The mint I bought and the basil I grew are in the orange pot; I have more of each but that is the best pic. The best image of the pepper plants are the very last bottom pictures below.

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Now for the most exciting seeds! Avocado 🙂 I started them from avocados we used as a side dish. I cleaned, added 3 toothpicks per seed then put them in clear glasses and left in the window. I watched YouTube videos after I started them and learned I was supposed to peel them. I did afterwards and they turned out fine. There is a close up of both in the glasses plus a follow up of putting them in dirt; pictures above in the large round black containers. Well that is it. A long lengthy rundown of all the plants I had and have. Any follow ups will be pictures only or maybe just random posts on Instagram  @jtm2015.wordpress

The Climber

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Stay there; its okay mommy is coming. How’d you get up there? Ugh it doesn’t matter just sit down!

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He looks innocent enough however this smiling face decided timeout wasn’t for him then climbed onto his changing table and got stuck. I tried not to think of all the horrible things that could’ve happened while he was up there but I’m a paranoid person so my imagination soared. As I pretended to be calm on the outside, I smiled and told him he was going to get his big boy bed. What I was really doing resembled the panic from the father on Inside Out when his wife was trying to non-verbally communicate. I was freaking out. I wasn’t ready for my baby to be in a toddler bed. I mean is he even a toddler??

Once I collected myself I realized he’s going to keep growing unless something horrible happens. And growth is a good thing not only physically but in every aspect of our lives. I’m sure I’ll have way more moments like this as he gets older but I’ll try to make sure I encourage his growth and maturity and smile knowing his father and I are doing the best we can to make him a productive happy human 🙂

On a not so mushy note I now have to find a better place for timeout so my little climber doesn’t hurt himself…

Color Run 2017

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This is everything from the Color Run packet: Happy tattoo, number, coupon for the C.R. store, epsom salt, official shirt, detergent sample (I think) & sweatband. There were also free Lays Poppables when you picked up your packet the day before run

The day finally arrived. I would be in my first fun run! I ate clean, exercised, got a good night sleep and prepared my outfit the night before. Just kidding I didn’t do any of that 😉

I’ll start by saying in the beginning I was preparing very well then I let life get in the way. The nail in my coffin was hanging out and having a few sips the night before/ day of. I don’t regret a thing because I needed to catch up with my friend and relax without hearing someone scream bloody murder when I left the room.

Race Day

Somehow I managed to drag my tired self out of bed on time so I could shower and get all dolled up. I was going to wear my lime green wig, fill in my eyebrows some shade of pink with matching lipstick, use the brightest Crayons to add flare to my number and blend my favorite green smoothie which at the moment is spinach, pineapple, banana and carrots. What did I end up doing… well I’m not sure but by the time I finished showering I was rushing to do everything. I’m not wearing any makeup and barely colored in my number which I attached to the front of my shirt instead of the back. I didn’t drink water that alone blend a smoothie. The best outfit I could do was my Color Run sweatband and shirt which I put on while my husband was driving (don’t worry I stayed buckled up the whole time; safety first). To add to my mess of a morning, I forgot the freeway was getting a much needed face lift, there was a bad accident involving multiple cars (everyone seemed okay just shaken) and we (I) was running so late that the regular entrances were closed so hubby had to drive all around to figure out how to get me to the race before they stopped letting people in. Well we (I) made it with only a few minutes to spare but they weren’t very strict on the time since there were multiple waves.

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Top Left – taken at start line; Police Officer – shortly after starting; Mile markers 1 – 3; Purple Party – last marker before finish line; Medal & son (covered in purple) – Finish line party which you can see behind us

Notes

  • Any fitness level can do this (walkers, runners, families, etc)
  • It’s shockingly fun: beginning had foam/ bubble area and hubby liked the end*
  • Family Friendly!! Police officers were out in full effect some even enjoying the music and giving high-fives to the kids as they passed by while others were singled out because they looked more like calendar models than real officers 😉
  • This is more fun with a buddy or a group but can be enjoyed by an individual with the right attitude
  • The halfway point had water and a Port-A-Potty (sp?)
    • Official Color Run Water cups. Yes I have four! I wanted a set
  • Be cautious if you have respiratory issues or have little ones. Bring a mask or ask that they not throw color on you. As my husband went through with our son everyone was very kind and asked if he wanted color. He declined but our son was able to get color during the finish line party and he wasn’t a fan 😦
  • Finish line party is awesome but extremely loud. If you have hearing issues or little ones you might want to bring ear plugs, stand far away from the speakers/ stage or skip the party. We decided to go but the combo of colors, noise and crowds weren’t his thing however if he wasn’t with us we would’ve stayed and partied.
    • I almost forgot to mention the free stuff at the party!!! If you’re like me and love free then this will be almost as awesome as the run. Pay attention to who is sponsoring as these are usually the ones with the best stuff. Lays gave Poppables: Sea Salt (okay…) & White Cheddar ( my fav), Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soak Relax & Relief which was really helped and smelled amazing (glad I took a few) as well as free beverages and multiple booths giving away prizes
  • Not sure all Color Runs have this but our run had blowers so you can get some of the color off before you leave. It was more fun than effective but I was still grateful for it

*hubby was a big naysayer but supported his wife and is now planning our next fun run so give it a try

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Hair Update 7/2017

My edges have returned and hair that has broken off is also growing back despite the horrible neglect it has suffered dating all the way back to the end of my first trimester. I was so excited to see my full edges that I took pictures at different stages of the process. EDITED: After I added the pictures I realized there aren’t any clear images of my edges #fail

My wash day is typical of most found on any curly-haired blog/ YouTube channel with the exception of adding heat so I can trim my own ends. I’ll admit I’m not super into my hair like I was before having a child so I’m sure if you look close enough you’ll see tons of SSK (single strand knots), split ends and general unevenness but hey it is what it is and I maintain my hair in a way that is easiest for me. Without further delay my edges (and the rest of my hair)!

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Photos above are of my hair right after I washed it. It was still soaking wet but I was feeling it way too much to let it dry 🙂 However I did let it air dry (took 1-2 days) in big twists to minimize the amount of heat I used.

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1- After taking down twist

2 – Flat iron

3 – Trimmed

My bathroom is really small but I was stuck in there since I didn’t want to wake my son up. It was my husband’s awesome idea to put the giant fan in the bathroom with me so I wouldn’t ruin all my hard work with sweat. Needless to say whenever I flat iron it again I will be using the fan.

Review: Face & Body Brush

The Perfect Skin Brushing System (face & body brush cleansing system) by Essential Skin Solutions

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Price: Varies but this was under $25 on Amazon (Feb/Mar 2017)

Packaging: Efficient and easy to open (see product pic in collage)

Instructions: Not a lot included but I received additional instructions in an email from the seller which I found helpful. I would also recommend looking at a review on Amazon with one star that gives detailed info which is the reason I bought this product.

Quality: Appears to be great buy for the price and service. The customer service seems to be great. I’ve been contacted a few times to verify the product is working correctly

Progress:

Skin – I spaced on taking any decent before or after pictures so I will not include any. However I will say with regular daily use I noticed old acne scars start to fade, smoother skin and softer smile lines. I will add taking before and after pictures when using any skincare product (no makeup of course) would be the best way to see if a product is truly working for you but if you have a really observant husband like I do who compliments you on the improved texture and clarity then that goes a long way 😉

Feet – Unfortunately I can’t give a thorough review of the pumice stone as I became lazy and stopped using it regularly but I can say after 2 weeks of (every other day) use I noticed slightly smoother feet. It made a bigger different on my rough heels than on the pads of my feet but I do still use it for pedicures.

Overall: The Perfect Skin Brushing System (face & body brush cleansing system) by Essential Skin Solutions is worth the money for me as I really like the ease of use, battery life, handle and hanging string plus all of the accessories. The only downside is having the time to spend brushing your entire body. If you are on the larger side like I am and want a thorough clean then it takes a bit to be able to use the body brush all over then switch to the pumice stone then switch to  the facial brush. Was it time well spent? Absolutely! Do I have that kind of time as a new inexperienced mom that likes a tidy house and is attempting to get on a schedule for son, husband and personal care… No but I still use this entire system (face & body brush and pumice stone) when hubby takes over and I have an in home spa day.

 

Nail Polish & Unicorns

WARNING: This is a random emotional dump so if you want more then read something else.

It has been rough in every sense: emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. The toughest being wondering if I have PPD or am having violent mood swings. The other realizing I am failing spiritually.

Instead of continuing to drown in my emotional state, I started to workout which I mentioned in my March Update post. I’ve since committed to working out at least 10mins daily in hopes I’ll improve my mood and alleviate stressing over things that are beyond my control. Well I was wrong. It has boosted my mood however the same problems exist and come flooding back as soon as the high of the workout ends. Today was no different…

Started the day by exercising. I’m currently doing Slim in 6 but I’ll do a separate post once I’ve completed the 6 weeks. Played with my son who was screaming MOM at the top of his lungs by the time I was done then clapped for me after I picked him up. We watched family vlogs until I got in the shower. I prepared for my appointment and this is where things started going wrong. The appointment was mislabeled, changed then rescheduled all after I had shown up for said appointment. I decided not to complain and just continued onward to lunch. The restaurant closed at 2 which was especially annoying as we’d been waiting to go back since Saturday plus we paid for parking but we found a different place within walking distance so the parking wasn’t a total waste. At this point hubby and I were both annoyed at the events, realized we’d forgotten something due to our extreme irritation and both expressed our grievances which took up all of our lunch. That is when I told him we needed to do something to wash off the stink of these events in order to salvage the rest of our day.

First stop was taking care of what we’d forgotten and that felt pretty good because yet again we’d hit a personal/ couple goal. Then on to Starbucks for the new Unicorn Frappuccino which my hubby described as a sweet tart ice cream. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever had but the name mixed with the colorful appearance put an instant smile on my face and changed my perspective.

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The Unicorn boosted my mood and lead me to do something I haven’t done in what seems like months; give myself a mini manicure & pedicure. I call it a mini because I didn’t soak or massage beforehand I simply cleaned up my cuticles, clipped and shaped my nails then polished. I was running late for my religious meeting (totally my fault I was 30min off…), messed up on a nail and ended up having an unpolished thumbnail but we made it. Once we got back home and were in comfy clothing, I polished my thumbnail and for some reason the whole day felt right. The weather was perfect (rainy and cloudy my favorite no joke or sarcasm intended), we made it to our meeting, our son was asleep, my fingers and toes looked nice, my hair was somewhat done (read better than all over my head or in a knotted bun) and we were relaxing together watching Founders which kind of turned me off of McDonald’s not that I frequented the place.

However my wow moment didn’t come until after the movie. I was deciding between going to bed and reading. I needed sleep desperately but I hadn’t read in silence in a while. Reading won; Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul pt 2. As I was reading the short stories, I couldn’t stop looking at my nails. I caught myself admiring the color and the time I took to do it even with all the interruptions. Finally I came across a story that (like the book had warned/ suggested) stopped me in my tracks and helped me appreciate my day even more. I closed the book right that second so I could reflect on the emotions the story evoked. Finally the WOW moment. I was happy because of two simple things: Unicorn Frap and my nails being polished. It wasn’t huge but it sent me straight to my Gratefuls book which I hadn’t used since late 2015. I wrote down a condensed version of this post with a few extra more personal details and here I am. I felt so inspired I decided to add writing in that book to my list of things to do. I’m hoping it’ll force me to find at least one thing to be grateful for daily beyond the basics that everyone is grateful for namely food, clothing, shelter, family and good health.

I’m not sure if any one thing will help or if I need to see my doctor to make sure this isn’t PPD but I do know all these little changes will only help me even if it doesn’t fix everything.