Week In Review: Ashley

What’s up party people?? I’m back again to fill you in on another thrilling week/weekend. Let’s get to it shall we?

Monday & Tuesday – Work, school, taking care of two littles usualness. I can’t even honestly remember anything significant from those days… Most nights we spend some down time in the living room before bath and bed just hanging out and playing…being silly.

Wednesday – I was off from work. Sophie and I took Coop to school that morning. She actually asked to go to the park when we left school, so I took her down to Fort Maurepas beach side playground for a little bit before we went back home to take care of some chores. At 11:45 we picked Coop up from school. He did great that day. There was no absolutely no crying when I dropped him off! Spiderman did come to visit school that day…sooo that may have had something to do with his good attitude. 😉

So yeah, we got Coop and then took him to get his hair cut before we once again hit up the park.

That night I settled in with some wine and watched Rhonda’s Fab Fit Fun Unboxing on our Facebook page.

Thursday – Cooper freaked out again when I dropped him off at school. This time I just stayed a few minutes and went a head and left him. He was totally fine after a few minutes. That day I had my pre-op procedures to take care of before I went in to work.

Friday&Saturday- Those two days just really blurred together for me. Friday morning I had my tubal. I was home nine…and slept pretty much that entire day. Gracie did bring me dinner and visit with my for a couple hours that evening…but after that I showered and went straight back to the bed. Saturday I was up a little more…but still just lounged around. Resting up. I managed to binge watch most of 13 Reasons Why. Every freaking episode is a cliff hanger – I’m pretty much watching just to find out what happens..not really really enjoying it. lol

 

Sunday – I woke up feeling MILLION times better! I spent the day at Mom and Dad’s with the babies and my siblings. 🙂

I even managed to wash my dirty makeup brushes and get together a filing system for all of Cooper’s school stuff that he’s been bringing home.

And that was my week you guys…what were you all up to? Do y’all have any Fourth of July plans for tomorrow? I know we’ll be hanging at my brother’s house!

Week In Review: Rhonda

Goodness, the last few weeks have been a blur and there are days I completely lose, it seems.  I now have a date for when the kids are going to their dad’s again and I am determined to make the most of those two weeks.  But for now, let’s look back on the past week.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were full of BossBabe-ing and Momming, as most of my weekdays are.  We took a couple of trips to the grocery store and post office and I ran two Facebook parties for my lip biz.

I also unboxed my FabFitFun box as the first installment of a new series on our blog page – Wine Wednesdays LIVE.  Make sure you like our page so you don’t miss those.

Friday, I got up early and hit the ground running, because my oldest “son” was driving my way!  I took another load of packages to the post office AFTER a run to the grocery store.  Then I came home to clean the house and make dinner.  He got in about 4 o’clock.

We lived our weekend as we usually do, but with the addition of Jonathan.  The kids instantly fell in love with him and I think he kinda likes them too.  Ooooh, Quentin decided he wanted to start cutting his own food and he did great!

Obviously, we ended both Saturday and Sunday with grilling and patio time.  We also took some time on Saturday afternoon to go to Stuart’s work and to buy water guns for these triple digit days we’ve been having.

It has been an absolute joy to have Jonathan here and I know we will be sad to see him go!

What was the highlight of your week?

5 Things You Need To Order From Amazon Right Now

I am an absolute freak for Amazon!  They aren’t paying me to write this, but I sure wish they were.  Anyway, if I can get something on Amazon, I usually do.  These are the top 5 things I’ve ordered from there.

TONYMOLY Changing U Magic Foot Peeling Shoes. These magical plastic booties contain an amazing solution that causes the rough skin to peel off the foot within a few days.  It is gross and oddly satisfying to watch your feet shed.

Skinfood Egg White Peel Off Pack.  These babies are so neat.  You put them on your wet nose, chin, and forehead.  When they dry, you peel them off and blackheads and sebum come right out onto the strip!

SojoS Sunglasses.  They come in many styles and colors and look designer.  Buuuuuuut inexpensive.  I can get behind a stylish pair of sunnies I can afford to lose.

Kimonos.  You can search for “kimonos” and get SO many hits!  I’ve ordered from several sellers and always had a good experience….for a fraction of boutique prices.

Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate.  This stuff is amazing.  It dissolves in any drink without smell or flavor.  Supports joint health and I feel best when I’m using it daily.

 

What are your Amazon must-haves?

 

What We Wore Wednesday

Jacket: Target Shirt: Long Peplum – Kohl’s Pants: Jordache Skinny Jeans Shoes: Black Booties I have no idea from where I got them. They are old. LOL Earrings: N&S Stone Cut Outs

Shirt: Kohl’s Pants: Jordache Skinny Jeans Shoes: Target Earrings: N&S Select Black

Shirt: Target Pants: Liverpool Skinny Jeans from StitchFix Shoes: Blush Gladiator Sandals from Old Navy Earrings: N&S Select Black

 

Button Up: Chambray from Target T-Shirt: Gas Station Disco Band Tee Pants: Pleather leggings from Target Shoes: Brown Sandals from WalMart Earrings: N&S Leopard (not in stock)

Rhonda –

I really didn’t get many full outfit pictures this week – partially because there were days I didn’t put on pants and then there were times I just didn’t photograph it.

Mine and Claudia’s Tanks:  Old Navy, not available. Claudia’s shorts: Target.

Dress: Old Navy. Necklace: Icing. Earrings: BaubleBar [I may receive points if you make a purchase from this link.]

Tank: Old Navy, not available. Shorts: Target. Sandals: Target. Earrings: N&S Matte Gold.

My Menstrual Cup Memoir – Ashley

I was definitely that teenage girl who cried and threw a hissy fit over having to learn to use a tampon for the first time. I can vividly remember my mom telling me that “if I wanted to swim I was just going to have to learn to do it.”Ok- so I can’t vividly remember the EXACT words she used but it was something along the lines of “suck it up buttercup… and get to it.” Not that she meant that with any less than the utmost concern. 😉

I’m certain I asked my mom how to do it. You know. How to insert the tampon. Like literally. I can remember attempting to do it while laying down. That approach didn’t work so well. My next course of action? I consulted the instructions. I’m big on instructions – unless I just absolutely trust that someone can tell me how to do it. Tampon instructions. That’s where I learned the squat and lean forward method. I figured it out and had been successfully wearing tampons, with zero regrets, until September of last year.

What happened in September? Well, it was just a culmination of a lot of things including some personal lady issues and hearing Rhonda rave about her Diva Cup. I knew at that point that I no longer wanted to use tampons. I didn’t want that toxic material, inside me. And really. Have you worn a tampon recently? It doesn’t always feel great. Especially the coming out. Tampons just block and stop everything from flowing correctly. I was at a point that I needed to see the amount of blood exiting my body. You can’t do that with tampons. And speaking of that blood. It’s not just  a smooth flowing spring like you’ve seen exiting from other parts of your body. This blood is ooey, gooey, and full of giant clots. I mean really. Just think of  the logistics of a compact piece of material properly absorbing that mess. So maybe you’re thinking, Ashley, seriously…what exactly is so bad about a tampon beyond your own personal experience? I mean..to name a few things:

  • Ingredients in tampons are not nearly regulated as they should be.
  • Your vagina is super absorbent. Therefore, the pesticides and chlorine that are present in the cotton used to make a tampon are being absorbed into your vagina. That’s cool right?
  • Speaking of….there are pesticides on your tampon! And chlorine. Have you even considered the possible long term effects of repeatedly exposing your body to those??
  • They create the perfect environment for infection. A tampon holds blood in contact with the vagina, the stagnant blood changes vaginal pH, and prevents the vagina from flushing out the harmful bacteria. Hello infection!  
  • Need more reasons? Just Google it man. There are a plethora.

I didn’t go straight to using a cup. I actually didn’t jump and make that decision until I was once again confronted with the issue of wanting to swim while being on my period. I was also over the messiness of using pads. And pads are not even that great for your vaginal health either. It was just definitely time to take the plunge. So I hopped on Amazon and within a few clicks my Pixie Cup was being prepared to ship to my house. Why didn’t I go with the Diva? Well, I read all the reviews on Amazon. Most people said the Pixie was much more flexible/soft than the Diva – and the Pixie had a better price point. I think I may get a Diva Cup at some point just to compare.

Now, there are a lot of articles out there detailing how to use a menstrual cup. I’m not here to give you some generic set of instructions. I’m here to give my specific thoughts and experience.

  • I chose the size 2 because I’m over 30 and have had two children vaginally. Insertion was not a problem. I just folded it and popped it in. Using the whole squat and lean forward method.
  • Even though I knew logically it wasn’t possible – I had the fear that my cup would be sucked up deep inside me and I’d have to rush to the ER to have it removed. Have you guys seen that episode of Sex and The City where Samantha had to retrieve Carrie’s diaphragm from inside her? Because Carrie couldn’t seem to reach it herself?  Yeah. Root of my fear there.
  • In the beginning, it’s messy AF when removing the cup to empty. Also, don’t be white girl wasted while trying to navigate the first time use of your cup. You will probably make a bloody mess…in your best friend’s bathroom. And have no idea that you did. But yeah. That whole process gets easier with practice. I’m pretty savvy now.
  • I ended up having to turn my cup inside out. This was a tip from Rhonda when I complained that I could still feel it. I tried just trimming the stem first – that didn’t work. So, I flipped the whole thing inside out. I just use my muscles to push it out and pinch the end  while pulling the cup the rest of the way out when I’m ready to empty.
  • The thought occurred to me that it’s kind of sad that I realized how unfamiliar I am with my vagina. There never really was an instance where I was repeatedly all up in her biznass before. Tampons allow you to have basically no contact, thanks to that toxic plastic applicator. And well recreationally? I mean. I have a vibrator which makes hand to vagina contact:  not necessary. I think it just falls under that umbrella of in so many subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) ways women are brainwashed to hate their bodies. So, you dare not explore it…especially your precious flower of a vagina. That’s taboo. Anyway, she and I have definitely become better acquainted. 🙂
  • At first…I pinched myself a shit ton. A nail pinch. Yeah. OOOOWWW. I am happy to say that those instances are few and far in between now..usually only happens if I’m in a rush or something. Why would I be in a rush? Oh I don’t know. .. Maybe those times when my children are pounding at the bathroom door because they all of a sudden NEED me.
  • Getting my cup to open up once it’s inserted is what takes me the longest. How do I do that? I do a combination/series of things. I’ll use my muscles to push it out a little and lightly grab the bottom of the cup between my fingers and spin it. I then run my pointer finger around the bottom outside to ensure that it has completely opened. Once I know it’s open, I contract my muscles and use my finger to push it a little further up inside me.
  • The whole experience has been liberating and freeing..and well life changing. I know I’ll never introduce Sophie to tampons.

And there you have it. My unsolicited. Frank. Pretty rambly. And Honest – thoughts on using a menstrual cup. I know this is no comprehensive guide. I could say a ton more. You guys know my tendency to ramble. I’ll leave it here though. And listen,  don’t stop your research with this blog post. Google. Read on. Form your own opinion…but I’m pretty sure you will be converted to the dark side. The dark side where we aren’t ashamed to face the natural functions of our body. The dark side where we respect our bodies and stop putting dangerous stuff inside them.

Week In Review: Rhonda

Another week behind us and ready to get some shit done this week!  I am one of those people who actually likes Mondays.  I love a fresh start to the week!  Full of possibility.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty typical – super busy and productive.  Wednesday I worked an online Facebook party for my Lippie Biz.  And the boys wanted mustaches.  Yep, typical.

Then Wednesday, I was excited for some customer orders to come in….then stressed AF to discover that the AC was leaking and leaving water under the floorboards.  However, thankfully we rent so it wasn’t really my problem – just inconvenient.

Thursday and Friday were more Facebook parties, target, and cupcake baking.

Weekends are for relaxing, hanging with the family, and grilling.  we rock at it.

I hope your week had the perfect mix of productivity and relaxation!

Week In Review: Ashley

Hey y’all hey! Hope you guys have had a good week and weekend. Have you been dying to know what we were up to? You were?! Great…let me fill you in then. 😉

Monday & Tuesday- normal everyday stuff. This was Cooper’s first week at DayCare. He’s going half days Monday through Friday. I was pretty much a wreck starting Sunday night. I am super great at compartmentalizing things and not thinking about something until I have to actually deal with it. I knew Cooper would be starting school on Monday…but I just didn’t allow myself to really dwell on it until Sunday night. My stomach was in knots. He was SUPER excited. My hands were literally shaking as I filled out some last minute paperwork at the school that morning, and I promptly shed many tears when I got back in my car. Cooper had a fantastic day though!

Wednesday- I was off work, and we started to see some weather affects of Tropical Storm Cindy. Sophie and I dropped Cooper off at school though, because it really wasn’t even raining for most of the day. 🙂 PLUS he still wanted to go. So, Soso and I killed time at WalMart and visiting Grammy at work, because it was her birthday. Around lunch, we headed back to school to pick up Coop. We grabbed some lunch…then headed home to eat and commence nap time. I can’t really remember what else we did…I’m pretty sure I grocery shopped that day. Not positive though.

Thursday- I had to work. The weather was bad thanks to TS Cindy.  There was lots of rain. Cooper’s school was even closed. We all survived though. Starbucks was still open, which I was very grateful for. 😉

Friday- We had work and school of course, but that night I got to hang out with my sister and brother in law who had just gotten back from Europe on Wednesday night. Grace and I had dinner with our friends Michael & Michael – then we headed to meet up with Grace’s husband, Dejan, at their new house. Grace and Dejan got back in to town on Wednesday night and closed on their new home Friday morning! This was my first time seeing the inside. We hung out there for a while talking and catching up before we went to downtown Ocean Springs to grab a drink.

Saturday & Sunday- Just the usual hanging out at Grammy and Ppop’s for the day on Saturday. I got my haircut that afternoon. Saturday night and morning I did spend quite a bit of time catching up on some shows on HULU. Sunday was a lazy day. I picked Cooper up around lunch time and we just spent the rest of the day hanging at home…with a short trip to Walmart for some more groceries.

And that is all folks! What were you guys up to??

A Hair Challenge

I am have always been bad about being stuck in hair ruts.  Yes, I change color pretty often and used to switch up my cuts a lot.  However, for years, I have always just straightened it or put it in a ponytail…neither being particularly healthy for my hair or flattering.  I look best when my hair is at least mostly down and with some wave/curls/body.

With my hair needing a cut and color, I knew I needed to do something to look and feel better, so I issued myself a challenge to help pass the time until I can get a hair appointment.  I decided that for 7 days, I would do a different style each day.  Admittedly, some of these will look the same to you, but trust me, they are different.

Super not fancy, just pinned on the sides because the front of my hair looked weird.

This day, I TWISTED the sides before pinning.

My go-to style the day before I wash, messy waves.

Hair washing day called for a blow-out.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, pinned back.  So innovative.”  Guys, this one is different.  I teased the crown before pinning back the sides!  I also pulled the sides all the way back so that the pins cross in the back.  I know!  I am so creative and WILD.

My daughter had her hair in pigtails so I just ran with it for myself. My hair was damaged and stringy at the ends.  This ended up being a good way to mask that.

Well, I had enough.  I ended the challenge by cutting my own hair.  Yep, I’m more than a little crazy.  But now my damage is gone and I will see a professional in a few weeks!

I felt like pushing myself to try something different really made me feel put together every day.  Do you ever feel like you get stuck in a rut, whether it’s with your makeup, clothes, hair, diet, or daily routine?  Try issuing yourself a challenge and see how you do!

 

What We Wore Wednesday

Ashley –

Jacket: Burke’s [similarTop: Target – it’s actually a navy top ..looks black here Pants: Jordache Skinnies for the win Earrings: N&S Rose Gold Choker: IDK

Jacket: Ross Tank Top: Target Pants: Liverpool Skinnies from StitchFix Shoes: CATO [similarEarrings: N&S Leopard

Sweater: Kohl’s Chaps Brand Jeans: Jordache Skinnies Earrings: N&S Champagne Shimmer Shoes: Walmart

Shirt: Target .. I think I’ve worn this thing a million times since I bought it. Pants: Denizen Skinnies from Target Shoes: CATO  [similar] Earrings: N&S White

Cut Out

Shirt: Chambray button up from Target [similar ](#thankstargetformywholewardrobe) Pants: Black Skinny Jeans from…..TARGET Choker: Target Shoes: Walmart Earrings: N&S Select Black

Some observations? I wear my hear up way way to often lately. Probably time to cut it. For real. Target for sure takes all my monies. I didn’t fail to come through with some stripes and chambray for you guys. You’re welcome. 🙂 🙂

Rhonda –

Top: Old Navy, not available. Shorts: Target. Earrings: BaubleBar, this style not available, but shop here for similar styles (I may get points if you make a purchase).

Top: Elodie brand, from Marshall’s. Skirt: Ambiance brand, from Ross. Shoes: Kenneth Cole.

Top: Tovia brand, from Ross. Shorts, not shown: white cutoffs from Walmart.  Earrings: Nickel & Suede Lip Gloss.

Tee: Target. Shorts: Target. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede Lip Gloss. Sunnies: Sojos.

I am trying to get better at outfit pictures, but shit… y’all don’t even know how crazy my life has been. Do you have those days or weeks where it’s a miracle you ever put pants on?

 

A Parent’s Influence

The ways my dad made me the person I am today – Ashley

I’m pretty sure that most parents, don’t set out with every single little value that they want to instill in their children’s hearts and minds. I mean I know this is how I feel about my approach. I know we all have core beliefs and values that we want to share with our children and hope that they adopt them because we believe that they will make them better human beings. A lot of times those things happen by accident, or our parents try to bestow one set of beliefs on us and we reach for the exact opposite.

Father’s day was this past Sunday and I can say without a doubt that I am super lucky to have the dad that I have. I get all sentimental when I think of the ways the has knowingly and unknowingly shaped who I am. To say that I was a “daddy’s girl” growing up is an understatement. I pretty much worshiped my dad. In my memories of him he was the end all and be all. He knew everything. He did no wrong. His stature was even bigger.

As I got older – all of that changed for me. I could clearly see his faults. I realized that he did not in fact know everything. I also noticed that he is so tiny. Did any of those realizations make me love him less? Did any of that make me like him less? Nope. My dad is in no way perfect, but he’s the perfect dad for me. I will forever be grateful and mindful of the ways that he (maybe unintentionally?) shaped who I am, for the better.

  • My dad taught me that gender roles at home don’t have to be a thing. My mom never really cooked for us on a regular basis. She didn’t like to, and my dad does. So he cooked dinner every night. He made breakfast and lunch on the weekends. My dad would also always make my mom’s plate for her. I know that my dad didn’t do this because he sought to prove anything to anyone – he was just doing his part. It didn’t matter that he was the man or that he worked long 12+ hours a day (mostly outside). My mom didn’t like to cook – and he did. So he cooked for us. Plain and simple. I always said that I’d marry a man who would cook for me too, because I absolutely hate it. That hasn’t happened yet, but fingers crossed one day it will. 😉 Dad likes to say that my liberal tendencies started because I went to MUW…got news for you dad…you started it. You showed me that I don’t have to fulfill the roles that society deemed ‘fit for a woman’. You didn’t mean to. You even tried to teach me how to cook and attempted to get me to appreciate the value in knowing how to prepare a meal for my future loved ones. Your actions though. Your actions every single night in that kitchen showed me that I can do whatever I want to. You showed me that I can be the person I want to be – and that there would be someone out there who could support that and stand by me while I did.
  • Sometimes my dad can be harsh. There have been many times that I’ve seen him bring my mom to tears or illicit one of those “looks” because he said something completely inconsiderate. Sometimes my dad can be incredibly narrow minded. It’s his way or the highway. When he believes that he is right – well he won’t back down. These two characteristics are things that I’ve always intentionally (and sometimes subconsciously) tried to not embody. I think twice..a million times…before I speak. Especially to those that mean the most to me. And I never ever want to be narrow minded. I’m continually trying to understand and relate to and find common ground with people. I don’t change my mind easily. I just know the danger in not being able to open my eyes to what’s around me and know how to stand firm in what I believe within the midst of differences -even if those differences are among my family. 
  • Politics – standing up for what’s important to you by voting, being informed, and knowing who you want to shape the laws of the country that you live in. All of that was not something that I even worried that much about. The first time that I can remember even caring was when Barack Obama ran for president the first time. My dad said to me once that I’d really really care when I realized how much all of that actually affected my life. He was so right. I’m living in a time right now where I feel like so many of us are having to actively stand up and fight for what we want our political leaders to advocate for on our behalves. So yeah, you were right dad. We may not see eye to eye on what I we want. You definitely also taught me how much I hate FOX News…despite the fact that you continue to listen to it. 😉 But nevertheless – you always tried to let me know that I can’t just live my life and think that what’s going on in our government and elsewhere in this country does not affect me. I used to think you were being overly dramatic – now I know you weren’t. 
  • Being deliberate about showing interest in my children, the things they like to do, and the things I’d like for them to like doing with me. My dad has always been that way. He included me in his hobbies. I really really saw his deliberate attempt at a strong and connected relationship through his interaction with my little brother. I see him do it with my own son and daughter. My kids may not end up liking the same things I do. I just want them to remember that I always included them and that I always wanted to be a part of what they wanted to do as well.

So yeah. Thanks dad. You’re my number one guy from the beginning … Love you,