Category: Health

15 Minute Get Ready Routine for Busy Moms

Get Ready SquareLook, I feel you. What is the point of spending an hour every morning to blow-dry your hair, primp your face, and style your OOTD just to stay cooped up inside all day chasing around crazy little monsters? We all know there is no point in wearing stylish clothes when they’re just going to be pooped on, puked on, and covered in sticky who-knows-what. I mean, this isn’t 1950 and we all know it isn’t our “womanly duty” to look sexy for our husbands before they get up in the morning until after they go to sleep.

When I was young and single I had a discussion with a friend about the controversial “getting ready every day” idea. She said, “Oh please tell me you are not going to be one of those moms who takes her kids to school in her pajamas! That is so embarrassing! Please tell me you will not do that to your future children!” I laughed it off at the time and said, “Yeah, I probably will. I don’t care what people think of me.”

If you know me, you have likely seen me in paint-stained yoga pants and a holey t-shirt with my hair smashed on one side from sleeping on it the night before and zero makeup, walking down the aisles at Walmart. I would give my old friend nightmares if she saw me now. 

But let’s face it ladies, while we may not care what people think of us, we should care about how we feel about ourselves. The truth is, when I spend even 15 minutes to get ready and put on jeans instead of paint-stained yoga pants, I feel so much more confident, productive, and more like myself. We all have 15 minutes in a day to get a little bit ready. Everybody’s routine is going to be different but here is what I’ve found works.

Hair3 7 Minute Hair

I tried, for an entire year, to like my hair long. I am obsessed with pictures and tutorials for long, beautiful hair. I tried really hard to take care of my hair and grow it out. Then I realized one day, I’m not meant to have long hair. Not only is my hair just too thin and long hair definitely does not flatter me, I was not willing to put in the work to style it everyday. 

So, I found a cute short haircut, got it cut a few months ago, and am in love with it! It’s definitely a “mom cut” and I don’t even care. I can style my hair from soaking wet to done in less than 7 minutes and it looks like I spent an hour. I know this because my four-year-old son always tells me how nice my hair looks when I’m done, and we all know kids never lie about your looks. It has lots of layers and I use a round brush and hairdryer. If you have more hair than me, you can probably get away with not washing it as often and just use some dry shampoo to revive your hair from yesterday. 

Whatever your style is, if you can’t make it look decent in 7 minutes, it may not be worth it. 

Items of business:

1. Is your current hairstyle serving you? Can you make it look good in 7 minutes? Can you go a day or two without washing it and still fix it to look nice? If not, look for a new style. I would say that most of the time, shorter styles are so much easier. There is just less hair to deal with. If you’re super attached to long hair, learn some quick braids, easy up-dos, or hairstyles you can keep alive for several days. This is an amazing tutorial (hair starts around 5:45 minute mark) for long hair and if you can get away with it, go for it!

2. Keep your tools easily accessible. If you’re like me you might have curling irons, wands, flat irons, hair dryers with different attachments, and all manner of combs, picks, and brushes.  Maybe you are a product hoarder and have 20 different bottles that you rarely use. Find what you will need on a daily basis and set it apart from the rest. Easily accessible means less fuss and less time.

Makeup35 Minute Makeup

I am known for being an all or nothing kind of girl. Some people may say that I either look like I’m dying or I’m going to the Prom. So it’s hard to prioritize my makeup routine sometimes. For a long time it was either my whole face or nothing at all. In the last year or so I have been better about trying to put on the essentials most days and I always feel so much better and even accomplished. I know it’s ridiculous to say that putting on makeup makes me feel accomplished but it does.

Again, everybody’s routine will be different but I have found that for me, only a couple of essentials changes my whole attitude about how I feel about myself. On regular days, when I don’t necessarily have anything to get dolled up for I wear a highlighting and contouring product (in lieu of foundation), blush, mascara, and lip gloss. Sometimes I quickly fill in my brows. I can easily do this in under 5 minutes. Now that I try a little harder on most days, my kids will sometimes notice and say, “Are we going to church?” Ummm…no honey, mommy just decided to stop being a slob. 

Two things to figure out what your routine is: 

1. Experiment with what products you feel like you need the most. What are your absolute essentials? What can you get on your face, to make you look the best, in five minutes flat? If you are really struggling, do a little research and you’re bound to come up with some excellent tutorials. I love this one from maskcara.

2. Keep those products separate from the rest of your makeup. Maybe in a small makeup bag or a clear makeup organizer. If you don’t have to dig through compacts and tubes to find those essentials, it will cut off a significant amount of time.

clothes main3 Minute Outfit

I realize paint-stained yoga pants are comfortable, really I do. Especially when you are on this upward climb in size and you don’t want to buy new clothes because, really, what a waste of money. You’re going to lose that weight and then you’ll buy a whole new wardrobe. But for now, the only pair of jeans you can get on are dirty and these paint-stained yoga pants are calling your name. Ok, maybe not everybody wears paint-stained yoga pants. You might just wear nice yoga pants. If you feel good in them, go ahead. But if you feel more put together in at least some jeans, try it for a while.

For Christmas my husband took me shopping. He lovingly told me that he appreciated how I always bought him and the kids clothes but that I never bought myself clothes. I started in with the, “when I lose some weight…” He cut me off and said, “But you need clothes now.” So he bought me four pairs of new jeans. They were knock-offs and super cheap but they feel so nice to wear. They actually fit and I feel so much better when I’m out in public and don’t have to worry if the checker at the store is wondering if I can afford clothes or not. Again, lovingly, my husband told me, “I swear, if I see you wear those paint-stained yoga pants again…” It was a loving warning I suppose 🙂

How to get there:

1. If you don’t already own enough clothes that fit for a week, get some. There is no shame in buying secondhand, as long as they actually fit. Or buy from a discount store where there are last season’s brand names. If all you own is yoga pants or basketball shorts, that is all you will wear. Try wearing some nice fitting jeans one day and see how you feel.

2. Set out your clothes the night before. It’s weird how the night before it will probably only take you 2 minutes, supposing you have clothes to choose from, to figure out what you can wear tomorrow. If you wait until morning, when you’re kind of groggy and disoriented, it could take a whole lot longer. Also, wear a cute apron when cooking and feeding kids, it keeps your clothes so much cleaner!

Have I convinced you that you can do this yet? Try setting a timer the first few times for each phase of your routine to push yourself to do it quickly. I promise, you’ll see. You’ll see how nobody can justify not using 15 minutes in the morning to looking and feeling 100X better for the rest of the day. Let me know how it goes, I’m excited to hear about it!

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Special thanks to my gorgeous sister Amie for being my model. Truth be told, she doesn’t even need 15 minutes to look this stunning!

So are you one of those people that is always put together? Or do you gravitate toward the “I don’t really care” side? What are your tips for getting ready quick?

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Get Ready FB

 

10 Favorite Winter Skin Products

10 Skin Products Square

Even though we are hopefully on the downhill slide of winter, I want to share with you my favorite winter skin products. In fact, I use these products all year round but they are especially important in the winter when my skin is much dryer than normal. Most of them work lovely with sensitive skin, such as mine, and help me to avoid that dry, flaky skin look that I have struggled with most of my life. If you haven’t tried these products, give them a try. They just might be the answer to one of your dry skin issues.

**I have included affiliate links to these products. Meaning that if you choose to purchase any of these products through the links I provide, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

1. Cetaphil Daily Cleanser

After trying so many different kinds of cleansers through the years I am seriously impressed with this one. It is gentle enough to not dry my skin out but strong enough to take off most of my makeup. I still use a makeup remover for eye makeup but I have to do that with pretty much any cleanser. The best part about this stuff? It costs like $11 and lasts for a really long time.

2. Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

My skin is really weird and one day it seems super greasy while the next day it’s dry as a bone and flaky. I used to use an acne preventing moisturizer but realized it was really drying my skin out in the winter. So I switched to a super moisturizing night cream at night but used it during the day too because it kept my face so moisturized. Well, at $15 for a small bottle I was going through it really fast. I picked this up since I was such a fan of the cleanser and it was EXACTLY what I was looking for. A huge bottle that I use morning and night and it is seriously dirt cheap. $11 for a huge bottle that lasts forever. I’ve had mine for over two months and haven’t used even a quarter of it.

3. St. Ives Lotion

I am really picky about lotion because I hate the kind that is super greasy and doesn’t absorb but then there are also the ones that feel like they evaporate on your skin and leave it feeling dryer. This one seems to be an affordable medium ground. I use it all over my body everyday after showering and it keeps my skin smooth and moisturized. It’s only about $4 for a big bottle and smells delicious!

 
4. Body Shop Body Butter

I have a ritual when I get into bed. I ALWAYS put some kind of lotion on my feet to avoid cracking soles and heels. When I can afford it, I love Body Shop Body Butters. They are silky smooth, smell amazing, and a little goes a long way. This container is about $14 but I am yet to find a body butter that absorbs like these ones. If you know of a less expensive option that works great, let me know in the comments.

5. Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Cracking cuticles are the bain of my existence. Maybe it’s partly because wearing gloves to do the dishes is kind of a pain in my butt. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it but my cuticles always pay the price. This cuticle cream smells amazing and it feels so good to massage it into my nail beds at bedtime or after cleaning. At about $7 it seems pretty pricey but a little goes a long way.

6. Super Glue

Here is an extra little tip for bleeding, cracked cuticles and any dry cracks on your skin. I use super glue on those cracks until they heal up. It creates this waterproof barrier that allows the skin to heal and stops the constant pain every time you dip your hands in water or the freezing cold air hits them. I’m not kidding about this. My husband works outside with horses all day and his hands always have several cracks in them. Super glue is the holy grail of healing them.

7. Oil of Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion

After seeing all the raving fans talk about their clarisonic I was itching to buy my own. But at $150 there was no way I could justify that kind of a purchase. So I started looking for a cheaper option and after reading the reviews for this Oil of Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion kit I decided to take the splurge for less than $30. I love it! Now to be fair, I can’t compare it to the clarisonic because I’ve never owned one, but it seemed to do the job for me. It makes my skin super soft and even and everything I put on afterwards seems to absorb and blend flawlessly. I use it a couple of times a week and the microdermabrasion product only once a week. My makeup always looks amazing after I use it.

8. St. Ives Apricot Scrub

When my skin feels like it has some buildup and I just don’t want to take the time to use the Oil of Olay Pro-X, I default to my oldie but goodie apricot scrub. It’s a quick exfoliation that removes the gunk and reveals softer, smoother skin. If your skin is starting to flake from dryness in the winter, use this and then a good moisturizer (like the cetaphil) and it is usually enough to stop that before it gets out of hand. For like $3 I would say this is a steal!

9. Bath and Body Works Shea Cashmere Hand Cream

This is another one of those, when I can afford it I love this luxury. This hand cream really does feel like cashmere, or what I would imagine it to feel like. If you can’t tell by now, I’m a super cheap girl and cashmere has never been part of my wardrobe. However, this stuff is like liquid gold for your hands. It smells absolutely incredible and feels amazing when your hands are dry and cracked from the cold. At around $9 for a small bottle, it’s an investment.

10. Burts Bees Lip Balm

I use this stuff religiously. Ask anybody who knows me and they will tell you I carry chapstick with me absolutely everywhere. Even in high school my friends made fun of me because I always had to have my chapstick. In fact, I think I’m addicted to it. For real. When I don’t wear it my lips turn into lizard scales and crack and bleed. I’ve changed brands a lot throughout the years but I love Burt’s Bees, especially the pomegranate one. And since I can find this on Amazon subscribe and save in a 4-pack, I literally get it almost every month and put each one in a different location so I’m never without it. Kind of pathetic I know. Did you know there is a Lip Balm Anonymous website for people addicted to chapstick? I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be for real.

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Let me know in the comments below if you have tried any of these products and like them or if you have any other products you would recommend. We could all benefit from a little TLC this winter I think.

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Finding Contentment Through the Trials

Contentment

I grew up with an older brother that was probably comparable to many other brothers. John is 10 years older than I am.   With such a huge gap between us, he was more than mildly letdown that I turned out to be a girl. When I got a little older he would tease me until my blood would boil. “Does the baby need a baba? Does she need her diaper changed?” That incredibly annoying baby-talk tone still rings in my ears. I can’t lie and say it was all him; I was an incredibly difficult child.

Lacie & John

My brother and I didn’t become very close until I was an adult. I was always impressed at what an exceptional father he was; despite the fact he never had a great role model. He never needed a break from his two little girls. Never. I don’t know many fathers that would stay up all night with a sick baby without ever muttering a complaint. For as tough as he was on me, he was a sucker for those little angels.

John was the only one in my family who supported me when I decided to move across the country and get married. We had a heartfelt conversation and although he was protective, he still gave me his blessing, which meant the world to me.

Only months after that memorable conversation, I called him just to chat. He sounded different. I could tell something was wrong. He said he wasn’t feeling well and had thrown his back out. We had a short conversation and that was the last time I spoke to him before the bomb dropped.

After weeks of confusion and uncertainty, doctors finally discovered that John was suffering from a mysterious staph infection and his heart, among other organs, was quickly failing. They were scheduled to perform emergency heart surgery that night to replace one of his valves.

Nobody knew how serious the situation was but I knew I had to get home. My husband and I were driving when I called my mom the next morning to see how the surgery had gone and to tell her we were about halfway there. She was hysterical as she told me, between sobs and half-screams, that the doctor had just told her that John had suffered a major stroke and things looked “grim.” I had to pull over and my husband tried to hold me to keep me from convulsing. Every dark emotion that I had felt in my life suddenly flooded my body and I couldn’t do anything but scream and cry. Why didn’t I just fly home? Why didn’t I call him and talk to him before his surgery? What was I thinking living halfway across the country? How was my mom going to go on if John didn’t make it? He had never even met my husband yet! What about his little girls?

 John & Girls Fishing

Seeing my brother in a coma is an image that I wish could be erased from my memory. He was yellow, almost translucent, and swollen, with his head tilted back in order to accommodate the tube they had to insert in his throat. He looked lifeless. I had an overwhelming realization that I was never going to see my brother again. That he was never going to meet my husband and that his girls were not going to have a father to watch them grow up.

They say God works in mysterious ways. He allows us to endure a trial and then He blesses us with miracles and tender mercies. It would take an entire book to tell about all the miracles and blessings we received as a family. Suffice it to say that God brought my brother back to us.

Although he suffered considerable damage to his brain and has lost most of his physical capacity, the ability to walk, eat, or talk, he is still my brother, with all of his mental capacities intact. I take care of him everyday. I cherish the fact that we didn’t lose him that day when I thought for sure we had. He has even made miraculous improvements and recently found his voice and is able to communicate, albeit limitedly, through speech.

Maicee Hospital

My family has always been my most treasured possession. We have always been tight-knit and are even more so now that we have banded together to take care of John and his girls. My husband and I left a growing business in Texas. My sister sold her home for next-to-nothing. My mother left her home and transferred jobs. My younger brother is attending a university extension in our small community. All of these sacrifices were necessary in order for us to come together and make sure my brother has quality, 24-hour care at home, with his girls.

At times, it’s been extremely difficult physically, emotionally, and financially. We have gone through all of us living under the same roof, pooling our resources and helping each other graduate from college. We’ve been through pregnancies and births, changes in John’s care, and changes in jobs. Since then, I have become the primary caretaker for my brother during the day. I feel more connected and closer to him than ever before in my life.

Although it sure isn’t easy and even John and I argue sometimes, I wouldn’t trade my family for the world. I often have people tell me how unfair life is and how tragic my brother’s situation is. Sometimes I agree and other times I can’t help but think maybe this is the price I have to pay in order to be blessed with such an amazing and loving family. Maybe these kinds of things are what make families great. It breaks my heart that it has come at such a high cost for my brother, but this tragedy has brought us all together again.

Hospital Girls

Time is measured in our family on a different timeline now. It’s now “Before John got Sick” and “After John got Sick.” His experience has changed us forever.

We think twice now before complaining about things such as our weight, the taste of food, or how much we hate to exercise. We try to remember how blessed we are to have the ability to eat, exercise, or even walk. Contentment comes in these small gratitudes.

Finding contentment in life has nothing to do with material possessions, a striking physique, or the most prestigious honors man can receive. Contentment comes from true sacrifice, heartfelt gratitude, and genuine love for other people. Nothing has illustrated this better in my life than my brother’s experience.

I don’t try to explain why this happened or blame God for such a horrific trial for John and his girls. I don’t allow myself to replay it all very often or think about what might happen in the future. For now, I am content to hear my brother’s struggled but clear “I love you” and be exceedingly grateful that he is here and that I know he loves me just as I love him.

I Love You2

Where do You Find Motivation?

 MotivationSquare

Let’s get honest people. How many of us are on a journey to improve our health? I truly feel like the majority of people out there are. From the fittest of fit to the laziest of lazy, most of us have a desire, however so small, to get healthy. So where do the fittest of fit find their motivation?

I’m one of those people who has struggled with her weight her entire life. Even as a kid I was always chubby. In middle school I dubbed myself as my hot friend’s DUFF. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this lovely little acronym it means “Dumb Ugly Fat Friend.” How’s that for self-loathing? I’m a little more grown up now and don’t consider myself as anyone’s DUFF but I still have a hard time believing I’ll ever be much better than I am right now.

Last Saturday I went to the Pinners Conference in Salt Lake City and attended a class given by Sadie Sabin from Simply Sadie Jane. While talking about her fitness journey she mentioned a post she had recently written on her blog about where to find motivation. Then she said something that totally struck me, like to the core. She said, “You can look for motivation all around you but the only place you’re going to find it is in you. You’re the only one who can do it.”

I’m so good at making excuses. The truth is, the fittest people are there because they stopped with the excuses. Nobody’s body is overweight because of any other reason other than that person hasn’t made the commitment to take care of it. That may sound harsh, and believe me, I am totally one of those people…but it’s the truth! We all have the ability to become fit and healthy and yet so many of us don’t do it.

So, I am making a public commitment. I’m done with the excuses. I’m done with the “I’ll do it someday” excuse, the “I’m not mentally prepared yet” excuse, the “I don’t have time” excuse. I’m done with the belief that I can’t do it, that even if I try I’ll never look like I think I want to. I’m done thinking that it’s vain because really it’s more about feeling good than looking good. I’m done thinking that it’s a lower priority than my kids or my desire to fulfill any other dream I have because it’s not. My health should be one of my very top priorities because it makes me more effective in all my other roles.

28385558_sSadie also talked about talking to yourself in the mirror. I’ve tried this folks. You really do feel different when you’re looking at yourself and talking to yourself as if you were your best friend. Why is it that we treat everybody else better than we treat ourselves? Would you tell your kids the horrible things you tell yourself? Would you ever tell them they’ll never be able to do something? Then why do we tell ourselves those destructive things?

So try it. Try it for a week straight and see the difference. Tell yourself, out loud, and while looking at yourself in the mirror, that you can do this. That you deserve this. Tell yourself you have every right and ability to accomplish what so many other people accomplish and you will do it. Tell yourself you have every resource you need and you know how to do it. Then just do it. Without dropping excuse bombs every time you go to do it. Make it work. Then let me know how it goes 🙂

After a life of struggling with my weight I feel like I already know what I need to do. I need to eat cleaner and move more. If you honestly don’t feel like you know enough about getting healthy then talk to your doctor, search some credible websites, buy a book, do whatever you need to get yourself up to date on what you need to do. Then just do it.

I look forward to hearing stories and working on my own journey. Remember, this body is taking us through this life. There will never come a day when we can say, “Awww, I’ve finally made it” and we can stop worrying about our health. It will always be a struggle. It will always be important. It should and will always be a priority. So embrace the journey and make it happen. You’re the only one who can.

motivation