A beautiful mess

You had one of “those days.” I get it. We all have them. But, when we are the one having them we feel like we are the only ones in the world. Everyone else’s life is so much more “together” than ours. After all, all of your friends’ Facebook posts talk about how #blessed they are and the only hashtag you could come up with for your day is #itwasamess.

Mama, we all have “those days.” I had one today. I actually found myself saying to 3.5 year-old Magoo, “Honey, just play with your friends right now, OK? Mommy has to get this work done.” Then I stopped and asked myself how many times I’ve said that to my little girl in the past month. Do I feel bad that I pushed her off to play with her friends when she was coming to me for something? Absolutely. Do I wish I could go back to earlier in the day and have a re-do? You betcha. Am I being too hard on myself? More than likely. See, I didn’t say this to Magoo because I was disinterested in her or because I didn’t want to engage with her. In fact, engaging with her and Birdie is what brings joy to my life. It’s what I was created to do; the reason I was put on this earth. The problem isn’t that I don’t want to engage, the problem is that I’ve been stretched so thin for months now that I can’t always engage when she wants me to. We are in the process of purchasing a home and it has been a humdinger of a process. Countless lengthy phone calls with the loan processor, our agent, our insurance company; gathering paperwork, faxing documents, responding to e-mails; then you add working from home part-time and starting a blog. Oh, and did I mention that we have all been sick for over a month?

How many nights, after your little loves are sleeping soundly, do you sit back and wish you could have a re-do? How often to you replay words that you said or opportunities that you missed because there were other responsibilities and tasks at hand? What if, instead of thinking about what we would do over, we started thinking about the things that we did right for our children in this day? I danced with Magoo. She asked if she could take a shower with me and I said, “Yes,” and once we were in the shower she asked me to “sit down, Mommy, and play with me.” So I did, and we did. I, a full-grown woman with a list of things I needed to get done today, sat down on the shower floor and played with my 3.5 year-old daughter. She had a brush and wanted to brush my hair. She was an excellent pretend hairstylist and said things such as, “So…how’s your kids?” and “How you like your hair?” I took her to get an actual hair cut today and she had fun browsing the makeup aisles with me at the retail store that we shopped at this afternoon. When we had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner this evening she not only ate some out of her own bowl, but she shared some off of my plate, too. Oh, and how many times did I cuddle her today? We cuddled first thing in the morning, then cuddled after dinner while she watched a little bit of Cars 2, and we cuddled at bedtime.

One of the highlights of my beautiful, messy day.

One of the highlights of my beautiful, messy day.

We celebrated together and embraced when she was proud of how well she did tracing her name and the words “Mommy” and “Daddy.” We lived. We enjoyed each other’s company. The things that don’t seem like much as we go through the motions of our day are the things that turn into memories. They are what shape our children and let our children know we love them. We are not the mistakes we make. We are not the one time we have to tell our child to go play with their friends while we finish up some work. We are the warm embraces, the smiles, the “are you okays?” when they trip while twirling around the living room like a princess… We are their mothers. Their mothers that love them more than we could ever put into words. Friends, the beautiful thing about this is, they know. As infants, as toddlers, as preschoolers, and onward throughout life, they know. In their heart of hearts they know. They may become angry when you deny them that extra cookie before bedtime and they may yell, “My not your Mom!” as Magoo did to me recently (a 3.5 year-old’s honest attempt at telling me that I’m not her Mom), but when the rubber meets the road they come back to home base. They come back to us. When the boo-boo needs kissed, or when they get scared, or when they are sleepy and want to cuddle…they come back to Mama…because they know that they are loved.

So, when you think your day can be summed up with #itwasamess, stop and really look back over your day. I think once you do you will realize that it’s better summed up with #itwasaBEAUTIFULmess.


Ideal Hair

If you’re anything like me, you’ve often wondered what your ideal haircut may be. I’ve found that my ideal haircut is what makes me feel best about myself. I have never had super long hair, but I have had hair past my shoulders, a pixie cut, and most everything in-between. While I do enjoy the option of being able to pull my hair back in a ponytail when it’s longer, I’ve always found that I’m most comfortable with super short hair. For me, it’s easier to care for, I don’t get the headaches that I get when I have my hair pulled back in a ponytail, and I think it suits my facial features.

I decided a few weeks ago that I was ready to take the plunge to go back to a pixie cut, but I wasn’t sure who I should trust with that task. I am not overly familiar with stylists in the Indianapolis area, so I did a little research to find someone I was comfortable with. It was important to me (and to hubby!) that the cut not appear too masculine. I wanted short, but I wanted it to have a feminine flair. Anissa Rubenalt of Ideal Hair Spa and I made contact via Facebook and once I saw her portfolio I was convinced that she was the one that could give me exactly what I was looking for. What better place to get your ideal haircut than Ideal Hair Spa?

Anissa’s salon is small, but it is oh-so-cute! Upon entering you can tell that she has taken the time to make her salon an inviting atmosphere. She wants you to be comfortable and enjoy yourself while you are there. She is an excellent conversationalist, making you feel as though you are in the presence of an old friend even if it is your first time meeting. Before we began, Anissa asked me if I needed anything and offe10477383_730581170373960_8470807994581199361_nred me a water, which I thought was a lovely touch. Her son, who is around Magoo’s age, was there since she was kind enough to accommodate my request for a Sunday appointment, and he was wonderfully behaved the entire time. He even wanted to help his mama sweep up the hair clippings once my appointment was finished!

Anissa took the time to familiarize herself with the texture of my hair and asked me 10850318_673822296049848_1024830953568919078_nquestions to better understand what my hair would look like once it was in the cut that I desired. She asked if I had any permanent color in my hair, when I had last chemically treated it, whether or not I had ever had my hair cut as short as I was requesting, how I liked the cut when I had it previously, and how my bangs laid when cut that short. It impressed me that she asked so many questions because all-too-often you walk into a salon, tell them what you want, and they do it no questions asked. I enjoy seeing a stylist who is just that – a stylist. Someone that can explain to you the pros and cons of your requested cut or color, based on your face shape, skin tone, texture of your hair, etc. Anissa is just that kind of stylist.

At Ideal Hair Spa you will find REFerence of Sweden hair products. This is what Anissa used to shampoo and condition my hair. The shampoo and conditioner had a nice smell and and left my hair feeling great. She also carries a product line that is geared toward men, called Gage for Men. She was sold out of the REFerence of Sweden styling agent that she used to texturize my hair, so I purchased one of the Gage for Men products instead. I don’t find that the smell is overly masculine and it seems to work well for my hair.

While there I also asked Anissa to wax my eyebrows and shape them for me. She did a wonderful job with my eyebrows, as well. I spent years tweezing/waxing/threading my eyebrows to get achieve the thin brow that was “in,” but now it seems that the trend is a thicker, fuller, more natural looking brow and I am having difficulty adjusting to this trend and my brows are having difficulty filling themselves in after over a decade of being plucked or waxed in some form. Anissa and I had a discussion about the new brow trend and she was able to give me some tips on how to fill th10170744_706198906145520_3043150256637918958_nem in with a pencil while I wait for them to grow back, and also told me about how long I may have to wait before they come back fully.

When I went to pay, I found that Anissa used a Square Stand, which was a breeze to use. It was streamlined and even calculated your tip for you based on what percentage you chose to tip. You were then able to choose if you wanted your receipt e-mailed to you or sent to you in a text message. I opted to have it sent as a text message and no sooner had I made my choice did my phone alert me that I had a new text, which was my receipt.

The end result was a cute, refreshing cut that gave me everything I asked for. My example pictures were of Halle Berry and Sharon Stone. Now, I did not exit Anissa’s salon looking like either of them because Anissa and her scissors can’t work that kind of magic, but my hair was exactly what I requested. In Anissa I also found a stylist that I plan on returning to see when I need a trim and a dye job. I didn’t opt for a color treatment when I went yesterday because we are still in the process of moving and finances are a bit tight, but once we are settled into our new home I know I will be calling Anissa and asking her to write my name into one of her appointment slots for a trim and color.

The hubs isn’t too keen on short hair, but even he likes the style. Last night he even mentioned that he would like to try Anissa’s salon next time he needs a hair cut. He browsed her Ideal Hair Spa Facebook page and looked at the list of services Anissa offers at her salon. He must have been impressed with her talent to consider going to see her the next time he needs a cut because he is a man who generally does not go anywhere other than a barber shop

A before and after of the transformation I received at Ideal Hair Spa

A before and after of the transformation I received at Ideal Hair Spa

You can find a list of services that are offered at Ideal Hair Spa here.

Ideal Hair Spa’s Facebook page can be found here and their website can be found here. To schedule an appointment you can call Anissa directly at (765) 461-3717. If you live in the Indy area and are looking for a hair cut and you want to support a small business owner who is talented, enjoys what she does, and provides an inviting atmosphere, I urge you to contact Anissa for an appointment. You won’t be disappointed!

Bottle Nursing Boutique = LOVE

After my recent post about the importance of staying hydrated, I received a Drink More Water, Make More Milk flip straw water bottle from Bottle Nursing Boutique in exchange for a product review. Now, I’ll start by saying that my husband regularly pokes fun at me because he considers me to be a germaphobe. I don’t like anything that I feel like I can’t properly clean and I’m particularly nit-picky about the water bottles DH and I use or the sippy cups Magoo has used in the past. Upon initially seeing the bottles on Bottle Nursing Boutique’s website I was in love with how cute they were. What could be better than a water bottle that reminds you just why it’s so important to stay hydrated? Any lactivist would love these!

image1-2The bottle arrived via Priority Mail and upon opening the package the first thing I noticed was a little personal touch of string tied into a bow to hold bubblewrap around the bottle. I liked this. It made it feel like I was getting the bottle from a company who handles each order with care. It’s a simple touch that really sent a big message to me.

Next, I unwrapped the bottle from the bubblewrap and found that they had chosen to send me a pink bottle, which was adorable. The straw was inside the bottle, along with a card that provided a percentage off of my next purchase (which I definitely plan on using).

I washed out the bottle and added some Powerade to it and took the first drink. So easy! You don’t have to tilt the bottle back since it has a straw and I found myself regularly sipping on my drink. The contents of the bottle were gone in less than an hour, so I filled it up with water. Again, the entire contents were gone within an hour. Now, be forewarned, if you order one of these bottles you’ll probably be making an insane amount of bathroom runs within the first few days of using it, as I did, because I was taking in much more fluid than my body was used to – which is a great thing! Magoo loved the bottle so much that she kept wanting to use it and fortunately we were able to find a child-sized bottle that was similar at a major retailer.

The bottle is BPA-free and hand wash only. The fact that it is hand wash only is not an inconvenience for me because I don’t own a dishwasher (yet), but even if I did I would not be inconvenienced by having to hand wash an item that I like so well. Perhaps it would deter me with certain items, but not this one. I have washeIMG_2243d this bottle multiple times since receiving it and it’s so simple. You remove the lid, remove the straw, wash out the bottle, wash the straw with a straw brush, and wash the lid. Super simple, super quick.

I decided to go back to Bottle Nursing Boutique’s website to check out the other items they have. What an insane amount of cuteness packed into that little site! Nursing & pumping car decals, t-shirts and onesies that say “Save the Milk Makers,” personalized bottle stickers, a breastmilk cooler bag that says “Liquid Gold,” and a pumping/nursing scarf/cover that is so adorable and stylish that it looks like it should be sold in a fashion boutique.

Go check out Bottle Nursing Boutique – you won’t be disappointed!