Swaddle Designs Review (and why I love muslin blankets)

Muslin blankets are loved because they are breathable, lightweight, and perfect for swaddling. Although we stopped swaddling shortly after we realized baby boy sweats easily (we now rely on a sleep sack; it’s such a game changer!) I still love my muslin blankets (read on to find out my top 7 reasons). Especially because living in South Florida, the last thing you want to do is use a heavy blanket for your baby.

I must say, muslin blankets are everything.

Swaddle Designs did not disappoint in the concept and design of their blankets. I love that these blankets come with a step-by-step swaddle pictorial sewn right on the tag! Its such a brilliant idea and I definitely needed the refresher. (We swaddled for the first two weeks or so.) Equally impressive is the interactive barcode that comes on the tag, which is perfect for access to free white noise and calming sounds and baby care videos, via the website that it links to.

swaddle designs review, the little in jen that could blog, nursing blankets, muslin blankets, mommy blog, mom blog

swaddle designs review, the little in jen that could blog, mommy blog, mom blog, nursing cover, muslin blankets

I am in love with the adorable designs of these blankets. Not only because they are gender neutral, but the black and white is great because you don’t have to worry about colors fading over time through use and washing. The material is 100% cotton, though I will say it feels a bit more abrasive than the brands I’ve previously used. Still light and airy, still comfortable, but not as soft. Also– please, please wash before use. I was so excited to use them for my little that I draped one over my shoulder right out of the box, and I was met with a few lint particles that triggered sneezing.  No big deal, just a reminder to always wash materials before using them!

I am so grateful that Swaddle Designs reached out to me for this review and gift away. These swaddle blankets are definitely a staple in my baby bag, and I can’t get over how cute they are! Lucky for you, we’ve teamed up to give a single blanket to one lucky mama. Comments below are automatically entered to win, and head over to my Instgram profile  for details on how to score an extra entry. The deadline is Friday, May 6, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST. The winner will be announced in time for Mother’s Day! Good luck boos!

swaddle designs review, the little in jen that could blog, mommy blog, mom blog, nursing covers, muslin covers

Without further ado, here are my top 7 ways to use a muslin blanket:

1. swaddle wrap
2. nursing cover
3. car seat cover
4. photo prop, background for baby photos
5. burp cloth
6. blanket for draping (for shade or keeping baby warm)
7. Fold and roll it up to use it for propping. When J was a little older than baby is now (but still tiny) I used rolled up blankets to help position her in her baby gear (please always follow safety guidelines). One of my favorite mommy hacks is placing a rolled blanket under my breast for hands-free breastfeeding.  (I have to use hands because my boobs are huge!)

How do you use your baby blanket? Leave your mommy hacks below!

Natural deodorant: Primal Pit Paste Review

What’s all the stink about? Natural deodorants are a thing, and for more reasons than one. Yes, they are typically more expensive. But all natural ingredients means no toxins, parabens, or cancer causing ingredients are being put on your precious skin. For me, there is no debate that health conscious products are worth spending a little extra for. In my search for a natural deodorant, I came across some excellent reviews for a brand called Primal Pit Paste, and decided to purchase the sample pack of 6 trial size deos for $20. Shipping was free (directly via the company’s website) so I figured this was a deal I couldn’t pass up.

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I was satisfied, overall, with the performance of these deodorants… some of the fragrances more than others. They all smelled divine fresh out of the jar, especially the “Orange Creamsicle” “Jacked up Jasmine” and “Coconut Lime.” I found that once mixed with the body’s natural scent, however, some of the rogue fragrances (such as “Rough and Rogue”) faired better than others. More about that later.

I loved the idea of deodorant in a jar, and I’m obsessed with their bright, bold packaging. It looks so cool and retro. I did however, find fault in the application. Granted, I did purchase the sample pack so I’m not sure if the full size jars come with something you can use to apply them to your armpits. (There is also a stick version which allows you to apply them like typical deodorants, which I have yet to try.) I found myself having to awkwardly apply using my fingertips but trying to avoid getting it under my fingernails. Easier said than done.

The consistency of the pastes is thick, but smooth rather than gritty. This could be the reason why the skin in the pits of my arm started to darken; product buildup. Initially I freaked out and stopped using it because I was convinced that I was having some type of adverse reaction. When I realized it was the product building up  (my skin started to feel thick, coarse, and coated)   I began exfoliating my armpits and scrubbing a bit harder when I showered. This– along with using less product– helped minimize the discoloration.

So to keep it funky (pun intended), my honest opinion about this deodorant is simple: I like it. Did it keep me dry and smelling delicious all day? No. My tried and trusted Secret deodorant didn’t either (well, not smelling delicious 24/7 at least). None that I have come across have done so. With this product, I noticed that as the day wore on, the scent heightened as it mixed with my natural scent. It’s hard to explain what that means exactly. But I did find myself running for the shower by the end of the night a few times because the smell of body odor and lemongrass or lavender was too overwhelming!

I know there’s stigma that I need to get past, in thinking that a natural deodorant can’t perform the same way that a “regular” one can, and I am definitely trying to break that mindset. I’m not 100 percent certain that this is the deodorant I can use and feel confident about doing so. Despite how much I loved the fragrances and the all natural ingredients, I noticed I was still on  a quest to find something… lighter. Something that would combat odor and help keep sweating  to a minimum while not coating my pits. Something I would feel confident in wearing any season, any temperature, and any day. I’d love to use this deodorant in cooler months like Fall and Winter, when using heavier products wouldn’t necessarily be an issue, but I am still looking for something a bit lighter for the warmer months. Especially now that summer is a hop and a skip away. I can say that until I do, this natural deodorant has already replaced my chemical loaded one!

Have a natural deodorant you would recommend? Do share!

 

UPDATE: I am currently testing a “lighter” natural deodorant that also works wonderfully.  I’m also happy to report that the darkening of my armpits has completely diminished. They are actually in the best condition I’ve seen them since before even starting this experiment. I’ll be sharing details soon!

 

My First Week as a Mother of Two

I know that eventually some of these things will change, evolve, or dissipate completely. But I wanted to take a moment to honestly document what I was feeling in my first week after having my second child. A raw, unedited version of what I experienced in my first few days of being a mother of two. Here goes nothing.

Physical changes

I’m not talking about a “snap back” here. Frankly, getting down to a smaller version of myself is one of the last things on my mind right now. I’ve gone through this before and I know that the weight will come off, especially with the help of breastfeeding. I struggled with the physical toll that labor took on my body. Yes, I had a “quick” delivery. Yes I only did one to two rounds of pushing before baby came. But it’s important to remember one thing here. I STILL GAVE BIRTH. People tend to trivialize the amount of pain/work I went through to get to hard laboring at the hospital, AND the fact that I still pushed a baby out of my vagina, and I hate that. Nobody is handing out awards for the mother who endured the most or least amount of hours of labor. I still put in work, and the way my body feels is a testament of that. Nobody warned me about the after birth pains being five times worse after your first child. Well, none of my friends or family did. The nurse in labor and delivery gave me a heads up, and explained that round two onwards is worse because your uterus is more “elastic” after having a child so it has to work harder to get back to it’s normal size. I took this in, but figured if I could make it through contractions and labor, I was capable of a few stomach cramps after delivery. Oh. My. God. The pain is real. It felt like hard labor contractions, menstrual cramps, and a horrible stomach ache was overcoming my body simultaneously. Of course it worsened with every nursing session, which made the desire to do anything but curl up in bed and cry, very minimal. I was prepared for the aches and pains, sore and stiffness, abdominal cramps, and sore nipples from breastfeeding, but nobody warned that I would have to hand my body to the devil on a silver platter to be tortured. Recovering physically has been… rough to say the least.

Let’s be clear, I know I am blessed. I’m still mobile and I’m able to take care of myself and my littles, just not in the capacity and speed I’d like to. As I write this I am 9 days post partum and at times still moving at a tortoise’s speed. I rely on Nick for help with cooking and cleaning, but even that is difficult because I’m still up doing work more than I should. Not to mention he is going back to work next week. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself and overwhelmed by unrealistic expectations but I just wish I were me again. Its been so frustrating with being placed on bedrest at 31 weeks, that I’m ready to just get up and do the things I want and need to, without having to “take it easy” or being physically limited bc of body aches. I mean, if I were being waited on hand and foot it would probably make the resting phase more desirable, but because I’m doing so much already, I’d rather just have myself back so I can do it well. But I know the road to recovery isn’t always one without it’s bumps in the road.

Emotional changes

I expected to be all over the place emotionally. Feeling guilty for taking time away from J. Wanting time and space for bonding. Surprisingly the raw emotion I’m struggling with the most is frustration. In wanting help. In not wanting people in my space. In not being able to skip “this part” and go straight to play time at the park and little adventures. In getting little sleep, in being the last to eat, in having to decide between a hot shower and missing the first half of my “show” (Cookie didn’t win that battle). In just trying to find balance in making sure everyone is happy but feeling like a failure at doing so. It’s all just so damn… frustrating! I find solace in knowing that –as cliche as it sounds– this is a fleeting feeling. It is only temporary. I know that tomorrow will come and I’ll have bigger fish to fry and more reasons to stay positive and hold on to faith. I know that my hormonal and energy levels will have balanced, and I’ll find better ways to deal. And I’m comforted in knowing that if I don’t, I’ll always have fudgesicles. (I had to do it.)

Family changes
This has been the most rewarding part of the evolution. Watching J as a big sister makes me so happy. She can’t get enough of her baby brother. Not a cry goes unattended, not a moment goes by when she isn’t kissing him, asking to kiss him, or wanting to make sure he is okay. She tells him she loves him a hundred times a day. I feared for so long that I would fall short of knowing how to love another person as much as I love J. It sounds incredibly shallow when I write it out, but that is genuinely how I felt. How would I know how to “split” my love, time and affection? Everything changed when I saw my son’s face. It’s like our world just instantaneously shifted and I felt like I had loved him forever. Sharing or “splitting” the love I have hasn’t been a thought that has crossed my mind since. My heart is so full with these two in it, and I love them immensely. Since being home with the both of them, I’ve learned to appreciate them individually and together as my two babies.

At times I do feel like J got a crash course in being a big girl. I have to tell her, “no” and “I can’t right now baby” more times than I’d like to and honestly, its heartbreaking. Sometimes I just look at her playing by herself or reading quietly in her chair, and I want to cry. I don’t want her to feel lonely, or think that mommy doesn’t have time for her anymore. I don’t want her to resent the way our family has changed. But I remember how I would encourage her independent play when I was at home on bedrest, to prepare her for times like this. And though she loves being under mommy and daddy, she has really stepped up in terms of finding time to do things on her own as well. I try to take advantage of baby brother’s nap times to spend time with her– reading, talking, playing, watching movies, whatever she wants to do– just as I use her nap time to bond more with the baby or even get a little nap in myself. It’s not easy, I can’t even pretend that it is. But its rewarding.

My first week as a mother of two has been okay. Pits and peaks, highs and lows, but all the while humbling. I am so happy that I have a beautiful son that was born happy and healthy; he is such a precious baby and he is pure perfection. I’m so blessed to have a smart, free spirited, beautiful girl that calls me mommy. Together they are magic and they make me such a proud mother. When people ask me how I’m adjusting, I don’t really know what to say. I’ve only been here just over a week. It’s exciting. Frustrating. Perfect. Overwhelming. Loving. Scary. A blessing. Tiring. Sometimes it feels like a game of ping pong or a tag team wrestling match. Just as I think I’ve gotten a breather, it’s someone else’s turn to need mommy. I know it will most likely be an emotional roller coaster from here on out, and that’s okay. One thing that I keep telling myself is that, “its not the load that breaks you down, its how you carry it.” I’m praying that as I continue in this journey of motherhood, that I remember that and remain inspired by it. I pray that I continue on a healthy path towards being a better person for myself and my children. Lord knows I need the positivity and good energy to keep me close to my faith, sound judgement and patience, happiness and health and my sanity!

Signed,
A new mother of two

Sasha Obama Inspired Updo for Curly Hair (Pictorial)

I say that this is a Sasha Obama inspired style, but I have rocked this style many many times before. (See below)curly updo, natural hair styles, the little in jen that could blog

 

Usually done on wet hair, I wanted a bit more texture and volume to the look which is why I chose to do it on stretched hair for this pictorial. I hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: This style was done on an old twist out. I realized while creating this post that I had product buildup which shows towards my scalp area. I promise you are not looking at dandruff!

 

Step 1: I started with an old twist out.

step one-sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hairstyles

Step 2: Part your hair straight down the middle and along the sides from ear to ear. As you can see here, I don’t aim for perfect parts. Separate these sections from the rest of your hair.

step two -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog- natural hairstyles

step two pic 2-sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog

Step 3: Apply a moisturizing product to the front sections of your hair, smoothing it through to the ends.

step three -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

Step 4: Apply a gel of your choice to the edges to your hair (optional) and brush your hair to smooth it for the twisting process.

step four -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

Step 5: Flat twist or braid your hair– close to your scalp– in a downward motion. Repeat this on the other side.

step five -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

step five, pic 2 -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

Step 6: Apply moisturizer to the back section of your hair, smoothing it down to prevent frizz.

step six -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

Step 7: Secure your two front twists on top of the smoothed back section of hair. Don’t worry about perfect placement of your bobby pins, as they can be adjusted later.

step seven -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

step eight -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

Step 8: Roll/twist the hair that was left out in an upward motion. Think of a horizontal french roll. You’ll want to stop in the middle and repeat on the other side in efforts to have the two pieces meet in the middle.

step eight -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

Step 9: You are more than welcome to stop here. I like to roll the rest of the hair up “into” itself, tucking in an upward motion and pinning it in place.

step nine -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

step nine pic 2 -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

Step 10: You’ve just done a boss updo! Look at you being awesome.

step ten -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

step ten pic 2 -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

5 Things I Can’t Wait to Use for my Newborn

Keep in mind this isn’t a typical product review that I would do.  I have yet to try these goodies, but I love them and everything they have to offer.

thelittleinjenthatcould blog, excited for newborn, baby registry, matimati baby, milk snob, green sprouts, swaddle designs, solly baby, baby wrap, must haves for baby, use for my newborn

thelittleinjenthatcould blog, excited for newborn, baby registry, matimati baby, milk snob, green sprouts, swaddle designs, solly baby, baby wrap, must haves for baby, use for my newborn

To keep it short and sweet, here are the 5 things I can’t wait to use for my newborn/ baby:

 

1. Milk Snob cover

I love the look and concept behind these covers! I love the fact that I have one cover that I can use as a car seat cover AND a nursing cover. The patterns are fly and I feel like they would be making a statement rocking them. (Enter outfit of the day photo!) Not only do I love the potential of these covers, I support the mompreneur behind the brand, and the customer service is stellar. When I contacted the company with a concern because I purchased the wrong cover (we were initially told baby N was a girl) she did not hesitate in getting it resolved for me– it was the best customer service experience I could ask for! I love supporting “small” businesses and mompreneurs, so for me this was a no brainer. I’m super excited to use this cover– get ready to see plenty of photos of me with this!

2. Green Sprouts wooden comb and brush set

Okay, don’t judge me. I hate those cheap, plastic baby combs and brushes on the market. I love the idea of wooden hair tools for a baby (though the bristles are still soft) and I’m excited to give them a try. My hope is that they are more durable, and actually work in terms of keeping baby’s hair in place, rather than collecting lint and every other particle that floats in the air.

 

3. Solly Baby wrap

I waited patiently for an irresistible sale (Black Friday) before I purchased this baby wrap. It comes highly recommended from my baby wearing friend, because of the lightweight material, which is perfect for Florida weather. I love my Ergo carrier (which I still plan on using) but I’ve also been wanting to try wraps because they boast a lighter, more comfortable hold for mommy AND baby. I would love the convenience of just wrapping and going without having to worry about buckles or straps all the time. I absolutely plan on baby wearing as much as possible, and I can’t wait to put this beauty to use!

 

4. matimati Baby wash cloths

I loathe the paper thin baby wash cloths that we purchased before I had J. I understand the idea is to have something gentle for your newborn, but these cloths were annoying because they were so thin and frail, and stuck to EVERYTHING when we did the laundry. Nick likes them so we still have a few, but I knew that I wanted to look for something with a little more texture to it, this time around. I actually stumbled upon these bamboo wash cloths on Amazon and fell in love with their packaging (and the fact that they are organic, of course!) Added incentive is the brand initiative. I read their back story after I found the company on social media, and found that a percentage of their proceeds goes towards the fight against human trafficking. Now that’s buying power! As I write this post, I am looking for ways to extend my support of the brand with more purchases, like those adorable bandana bibs they have available!

 

5. Swaddle Designs Muslin blankets

I LOVE muslin blankets! They were absolutely my favorite blankets to use when I had J because of their multi-use awesomeness. I used them as swaddle blankets, a burp cloth, a nursing cover, a car seat cover– I’ve even used them to cuddle up to a time or two. (When clean, of course.) I was literally moments away from ordering a few muslin blankets online when I was contacted by the creator of Swaddle Designs blankets for a product review and giveaway (coming once baby N arrives!!). Ummm… of course I will! I’m over the moon excited to put these adorable blankets to use and I’m so happy to have them in our baby bundle. (Keep your eyes peeled for that review and giveaway, too!)

 

Now, let’s not be mistaken. Some things go without being said or listed. Like every single baby item that we used with J, that we will now be using with N. Our bassinet, our glider/rocking chair, our rock n’ play sleeper (we LOVE this little gem!), baby toys and accessories and so forth. Some things hold so much sentimental value that we are beyond gracious that we get to use them again and keep them in our little family. But these 5 essential products have me so excited. Oh, and I can’t forget the 4Moms mamaRoo that I managed to get for $40 –in excellent condition– from our local consignment shop. That little rocket ship is just too awesome for words!

 

Sharing is caring, let me know what you can’t wait to put to use, for your little!

 

 

 

BTW, This is NOT a sponsored post.

 

 

 

Design Essentials Natural Review

I was super excited to review the Design Essentials Natural line, Almond and Avocado shampoo and conditioner. This is the first time I’ve tried any products from this brand, so I wanted to start at the base of their line by using their cleansing and conditioning products before trying those for styling. The shine I got after rinsing these two was remarkable– The photos below don’t do it much justice. My hair didn’t feel stripped or dried which is definitely a plus for me! Check out my full review via my YouTube video, below!

 

design essentials natural review, thelittleinjenthatcould.com, natural hair blog

design essentials natural review, thelittleinjenthatcould.com, natural hair blog

 

This entry was posted in Hair.

DIY Lip Scrub for Dry, Chapped Lips

One brutal side effect that has come with both of my pregnancies is very dry, sometimes cracked lips. It was such a quick change both times that I didn’t have a real transition to go through. It seemed to go from smooth lips one day, to “Okay, you need to sand those babies down!” I realized that I spent a lot of idle time picking at my lips, sometimes without even realizing it until J started mimicking me.  My real come to Jesus moment was scrolling through a few photos I had taken to showcase a few new matte lip stains and lipsticks I purchased. If you know anything about “matte” coverage, you know it leaves nothing to the imagination. What you see is what you get, and when I tell you I saw layers… it was embarrassing!

 

I know a crucial reason for this slight dehydration (I drink tons of water but apparently I need to drink an entire ocean to reach proper amounts for both baby and I) so I want to stress that INTERNAL care is the best way to keep dry lips at bay.

In addition to drinking plenty of water, I’m now on board with proper lip exfoliation and what an important role in plays in pretty, pouty, kissable lips. Oh, don’t forget your favorite lip balm too!

I decided to whip up a batch of a lip scrub/exfoliant rather than buying one– a.) because I love getting in a DIY project every chance I get and b.) it’s far less expensive making it yourself. It was a no brainer. Here is the magic behind the lovely concoction I created:

diy lip balm, the little in jen that could blog, beauty blog, coconut oil, dry lips, pregnancy lips

 

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

a few drops of honey

a few drops of olive oil (optional)

Of course I eyeballed the entire recipe (and I apologize for that because I know when I’m following a recipe I like to follow exact measurements) but the beauty in this creation is that you can add as you see fit. For example, when I initially whipped everything together, it was a bit runnier than I wanted (as the coconut oil began to melt) so I added a bit more sugar. The possibilities are endless when adding preferred ingredients for this lip scrub. The key ingredients are coconut oil for moisture (and my chosen base) and sugar for the “gritty” consistency.

I saw an immediate change in how my lips looked and felt after using this lip scrub. (The first photo was BEFORE adding my EOS balm, or any additional product.) I’m looking forward to incorporating this into my beauty regimen, at least every few days. Of course, don’t forget to follow up with a lip balm to seal in moisture, and stay hydrated like nobody’s business!

diy lip srcub, lip exfoliant,  the little in jen that could blog, beauty blog, coconut oil, dry lips, pregnancy lips

diy lip scrub, diy lip exfoliator, the little in jen that could blog, beauty blog, coconut oil, dry lips, pregnancy lips

 

Note: If you store your lip scrub in the refrigerator, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes before reapplying it, because as coconut oil solidifies it will be very hard. Also, don’t be surprised if your ingredients separate as it hardens. This is totally normal and can be transformed into a uniform mixture again if you stir as it melts. :)

I’m wishing you all kissable lips and the power to change the world!

 

Hello From the Inside: Being on Bed Rest While Pregnant

“I’m almost 32 weeks pregnant with my second child and I’m parenting from a hospital bed. If I weren’t working on my self there would have been an explicit in that last sentence bc that’s how overwhelmingly frustrated I am.”

That’s the farthest I got. I was emotionally, physically, and creatively drained, and unable to ideally parent, much less write about it. I spent 4 days in the hospital being treated for signs of pre-term labor. I missed my baby girl. I was worried about my baby boy. I was helpless and an emotional wreck. To be quite honest, I still am.

As I write this, I am home on bed rest and nearing my 34th week of pregnancy. Being on bed rest while pregnant is no joke. God is so good. Though I know I am extremely blessed to have come this far given how close I was to this ending another way, I am still feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt for the way in which I must temporarily parent.

I don’t want your judgement. 

I am tired of people telling me it’s only temporary and that it’s what is best for the baby and I. I know that. I don’t want your sympathy. I guess me writing this post is a way for me to put my emotions somewhere. For me to release my frustrations, and try to make sense of what I am dealing with. I don’t expect someone who isn’t in my shoes to fully understand what I am dealing with emotionally. I appreciate the concern and support I am receiving, but please, I don’t want a lecture, and I don’t want your judgement.

I am doing the best I can to keep my unborn little safe, happy, and healthy– while caring for my daughter too. Being on bed rest is no walk in the park, and it’s damn sure not easy when you have an active two-year-old who needs your attention. I’ve never been the parent to plop their child in front of the television to keep them entertained. I’ve never had to tell her I can’t pick her up or take her to the park to play. She is never stuck within the same four walls for days at a time, until someone is able to come “rescue” her or be her hero because mommy can’t be. The other day she cried to her father that she “wanted to do something else” and my heart jumped out of my body and broke into a million pieces. This is NOT what I envisioned for my family. I am NOT this mother and I hate that being on medical restrictions is making it seem that way.

I don’t want to hear that I should rely on other people to help out.

I appreciate the help we have. I have a great support system of family that is willing to watch J while I “rest” or when she needs a few hours of interaction with other kids, or some play time outside of our home. I love that. But I am her mother. I enjoy spending time with her and being there for her. I don’t want to be slighted of my role as a parent because I am depending on someone else to always be there. That’s not my parenting style and I never want it to be.

Being on rest is not all fun and games, but I’m trying my best to make it so.

I’ve been thinking of creative ways to accommodate the both of us in the healthiest, most productive way. We do arts and crafts. We learn. We watch movies. We play and build. We read stories. We have play dates. We cook. We sing and dance.

So no, I am not laying in bed or on a couch all day with my feet up and a bell at my side while someone tends to my needs. But I am resting. I have substantially limited the amount of activity I partake in. My spouse takes care of the household activities when he is home, and I try to help out as much as I can from a comfy seat or in small increments.

I am doing the best I can given that I want a healthy, full term delivery– but a happy, engaged child at home as well. As out of control and frustrating as my situation seems, I am doing my best to stay positive and keep my faith strong. I thank the Lord that I am at least in the comfort of my own home, and not in the hospital at someone else’s mercy. I thank the Lord that I am able to spend this time with my daughter– though not in the ideal way I wanted for my last trimester– but quality time in the least. I pray that she doesn’t lose sight of who her mommy is. The fun loving, adventurous mommy that is so full of life, takes her places and never seems to lose energy. I pray that her vision of this new mommy, who has had so much life drained from her and “doesn’t do as much” quick fades and isn’t a memory that she keeps with her.

This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life. I tell myself that each day conquered is a small victory for the progress of our family and our bond, and I want to keep that perspective. I pray that overall, when I am holding my son and hugging my daughter, that I am able to remember how truly blessed we were to overcome it all. I hold this vision in my head of me pushing J on the swing, her baby brother in his carrier, at the park on a beautiful day. That’s what keeps me going.

 

Product Review: Philosophy Take a Deep Breath SPF 30

Philosophy has discontinued my all time favorite moisturizer and I’m still coping with their decision. If you read my post about my skincare regimen, you know I was dangerously in love with this face moisturizer. I was stunned when I tried to reorder and I wasn’t able to find it online, not even at Sephora or on Philosophy’s website. I emailed the company, and they advised that it had in fact been discontinued in 2014, and replaced with a new product they added to their brand:

 

dear jen,

thank you so much for contacting philosophy with your positive feedback!  unfortunately, the oil-free hope in a jar with spf was discontinued in early 2014.  this product was replaced by take a deep breath spf 30.  this is a lightweight hydrator that helps diffuse energizing oxygen for glowing skin, contains antioxidants and spf 30 to help protect skin against environmental damage, and provides oil-free, lightweight hydration.  you might like to try this an an alternative.  it is available on our website as well as our authorized retailers such as sephora, ulta, macy’s, and qvc.  philosophy is always developing new products to meet the skin care needs of our customers!

if you decide to try take a deep breath spf 30 we would love to receive your feedback! you can always can reach us via email atfeedback@ephilosophy.com and askphilosophy@ephilosophy.com, or via phone at 1-800-568-3151, monday-friday between 9:00am – 8:00pm (eastern time).   if we can be of any further assistance, or if you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

thank you again for your positive feedback and being a devoted philosophy customer – have a wonderful day!

 kind regards,

philosophy – customer development

 

Utter heartbreak.

I decided to try the new moisturizer, mainly because it was on sale for about 40% off it’s normal price of $36 on their website. (As of now the deal has ended and it’s back to it’s retail price.) To start, I have to be honest and declare this a bit of an unfair comparison because I have only used it for a few weeks, while it’s competitor has been a favorite of mine for years. I would also like to point out that I am reviewing this product in the Winter/Spring. It hasn’t been through the rough Florida summers with me yet, so I’m very anxious to see how it performs.

With these factors in mind, here is my review of the Take a Deep Breath SPF 30 Oil Free Oxygen Moisturizer.

 

Philosophy skincare, moisturizers, beauty blog, The Little in jen that could, product review, Philosophy Take a Deep Breath SPF 30 review

 

The Good

I like everything that this moisturizer claims to offer. Oil free. Check! SPF. Check! The added incentive of antioxidants seems appealing as well. This moisturizer hasn’t provoked a break out or produced oily skin for me. I actually haven’t had ANY adverse reaction to it.

Philosophy skincare, moisturizer, product review, beauty blog, Philosophy Take a Deep Breath SPF 30 review(This photo shows the consistency of both moisturizers. The Hope in a Jar SPF 30, on the left, and Take a Deep Breath SPF 30 on the right.)

 

When applying, it glides on my skin in a very cool, fluid way. The consistency is a mixture between a gel and a cream, so it is more of a watery consistency than the Hope In a Jar cream. It isn’t runny or easy to waste, however, and I love this in a product. I love the way it melts into my skin, and doesn’t require much effort to be “worked in.” I’m still learning that I don’t have to over compensate for it’s lighter texture. Meaning, because it isn’t as thick and creamy, I feel like I need to use more and I know that’s not the case.

I also like the fact that just like the prior, it is easily accessible so I can continue to purchase from Sephora or Philosophy directly– whoever has the better deal at the time.

 

The Bad

I can’t think of anything that would deter me from buying this moisturizer again. The price point is a bit steep at $36 for 2oz, but comparing it to the prior moisturizer I was using, that’s about $6 cheaper. So far it seems a bargain worth investing in.

 

The Truth

I’m praying that I’m not speaking too soon in saying that I’ve found my new moisturizer. I’m still in my feelings about my favorite being discontinued, but I think this was a great product to rival the prior. I’m hoping that this can become my new staple because I don’t want to have to search for another moisturizer any time soon!

 

I’m a sucker for a gorgeous complexion and healthy skin. Share your favorite skin care products with me below! (And of course, thank you for reading my dearies!)