Thursday, June 28, 2018

My experience with Microblading

As most of you may have seen on my Instagram, I did microblading a couple months ago.  I have had so many questions, comments and interest in my experience so I wanted to put together a really detailed post explaining everything!  Let me start by saying that my brows before were not very all.  They were extremely thin and in many areas the hair was so light that you could hardly see it.  I always filled them in when I did my makeup but because I only do my makeup once or twice a week, I wanted to feel more confident on the days that I didn't.
A friend of mine went to Die Gorgeous salon here in Atlanta to have her eyebrows microbladed.   Her eyebrows looked amazing after she did it and I pretty much booked my appointment immediately.  I was totally sold!  Microblading is something that I had wanted to do for a really long time (I had to wait because I was pregnant and then nursing) so I was always paying close attention to anyone I knew that was having it done.  My friends brows were the most natural looking microbladed eyebrows I had seen and that played a huge part in why I went to Die Gorgeous.
Die Gorgeous is located in Atlanta, near Atlantic Station and Georgia Tech.  Adora is a the leading technician who has over 10 years of experience in the industry and has mastered the art of permanent cosmetics.   With a background in celebrity makeup, Adora's technique at shaping brows is one of the best in the business.  She measures your brows to align with your eye shape and ensures the most complimentary shape of brow for your face.  She uses fine, hair-like strokes to create a subtle blend that makes for one big transformation!

Onto the questions.  I tried to answer the most frequently asked questions that I get in my DM's but if I didn't answer one that you have, feel free to email me and I would be more than happy to help! 

What can I expect during my microblading session?

When you first get there, Adora will go over everything before you get started and make you feel more than comfortable.  Adora first applies a numbing cream to the brows.  Once that is finished processing, she will clean and prep your skin/brows for the treatment.  She measures your eyebrows and draws out the outline of where she will microblade according to what works best with the shape of your face.  When you both agree on the shape, she will start the microblading procedure.  I can't tell you exactly what goes on in this step of the process because my eyes were closed and covered.  From what it seemed, she draws thin hair-like strokes through the brows to create her signature natural brow.  This part is very quick!  Once she is done, she cleans up around the brows with tweezers, wipes off the brows and you are done!  You will go back in 6-12 weeks for your follow up/touch up session.  The same proceedure applies here but does take a little less time because you already know what to expect and there is less to draw on because this is a "touch up" session.

Does it hurt?
This is probably the number one question I get from everyone and I am here to tell you that it's really not that bad!!  I was scared out of my mind when I went for my first visit.  Like almost shaking!  Once she started, I quickly realized that the pain wasn't anywhere near what I was expecting.  I can't really compare the pain to anything because I don't know of anything else that feels similar.  It does hurt a little but it is very quick and when I say it hurts a little, I never had to take a break or ask her to stop.  It was totally bearable.  Your second visit (touch up) hurts even less.

Can I get my face wet afterwards?
Unfortunately, no.  Not for 7 days and yes I followed instructions and did not get mine wet for the full 7 days.  She will give you an ointment to put on your eyebrows the first night and after that it's no touching for a week.  I am big on washing my face at night so I would use a face wipe followed by a wet washcloth and wipe my skin to clean it.  I was very very careful to not go anywhere close to my eyebrows.  As for showering, I didn't really.  I honestly took this very seriously to avoid any infection and ensure the best results.  I washed my hair the night before, used a lot of dry shampoo and wore hats towards the end of the week.  I washed my body in the bathtub and was careful not to let the water splash anywhere near my face.  

How is the aftercare?
It's not bad but I would say that the worst part of the healing process is that they get pretty itchy and you can't touch them at all.  I would press on my forehead to somehow try to relieve the itch without touching my brows but that was about all I could do.  Sometimes scabbing can occur but mine didn't scab.  They did get a little flakey but nothing too bad.  

Do I still love my eyebrows?
YES!  I absolutely still love them!  I have to say that getting microblading was a game changer for me in many ways.  The most beneficially change was that it gave me huge boost in confidence when I leave the house without makeup on, which is the majority of the time these days.  I feel so much more put together even though I didn't do anything to my face.  Having more defined eyebrows has enhanced my facial features, makes getting ready much faster and has made me feel better about myself.

Do you still fill in your brows?
I do when I wear a full face of makeup.  I personally like filled in brows because I feel like it brings out the rest of my facial features but when I'm not wearing makeup or am wearing very light makeup, I don't fill them in.  They are not filled in in the first 2 pictures of this post or in the before & after.

Have they faded? / How often do you have to touch them up?
I asked the same question when I went in.  It really depends on the person.  She has had a wide range in timeframes and that comes down to personal preference.  My touch up was in May so it is too soon for me to tell when I will need one.

How much was it?
Die Gorgeous does sales often!  The best way to catch one of her sales is to follow her on Instagram because she always announces them there.  She is running one right now for $187 (what I paid!) if you check out with Pay Pal.  Code is PAYPALGAL

I will conclude with saying that if you are thinking about doing it, have been wanting to do it, whatever it may be...JUST BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT!!  It's so worth it, I promise!  I wish I had been able to do it sooner!

*This post was in no way sponsored.  Just simply sharing my experience and standing by the work at Die Gorgeous.  If you do book at Die Gorgeous, please mention me as your referral.

1210 Fowler Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA, 30318


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A simple and festive 4th of July treat!

Fourth of July is always such a fun and festive holiday so what better way to wow your friends than with this simple and easy treat!  Rice Krispie treats are a classic dessert that are fun and delicious for the whole family.   As one of the easiest desserts to make, I'm here to share an great way to step up the original classic treat with Kellogg's limited edition Red, White and Blue Krispies!
For this recipe, I made the Rice Krispie Treats according to the directions on the cereal box.  When I was done mixing them, I poured them into an 8x12 baking dish and made sure to pack it in tight.  A little tip: use a smaller square dish, one that easily fits inside the 8x12 and is flat on the bottom, to press down on the top of the Rice Krispie sheet and make it flat and even.  Once the Rice Krispie sheet cooled and hardened a bit, I removed it from the dish onto the counter top.  I used my star shaped cookie cut outs to make the festive and fun Fourth of July star treats.  You can either stop here with the Red, White and Blue Krispies or move on to add the candy coating and sprinkles!
For the dipped treats, all I did was dip them into white vanilla candy coating and sprinkled them with red, white and blue sprinkles after letting them sit for about a minute.  I liked mine dipped about half way so that you could still see the colorful Rice Krispie Treats but if you use regular Rice Krispies, you can always cover the entire top and sprinkle!
Be sure to let me know how these work out for you at your next 4th of July cookout!

Have a safe and happy 4th, friends!


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

This is 34

As I sit here at 11:20 on the eve of my 34th birthday, I can't help but reflect on my life thus far.  June is always a good check in for me.  It's half way through the year and the perfect time to let current accomplishments encourage me to finish out the second half of the year stronger than the first.  It is also a time for me to acknowledge areas that are not so much considered an accomplishment and the first thing that comes to mind is my new years resolution of going to bed earlier.  I guess that is one thing that I have yet to accomplish and now that I think of it, I should probably just throw in the towel on that theory all together.  It's just never going to happen and I'm fine with that.  You see here, while the whole going to bed early thing always has been a bit of a struggle, I can't help but take advantage of that time for me.  The kids are asleep, the house is quiet and my creative energy is at its peak.  The words and ideas just seem to flow to me and one of my favorite things to do at the end of a long day is sit down and write.  Whether writing out a blog post or just simply journaling, it confirms that my decision to blog again is proving to be one of the best decisions I have made for myself this year.  I can't tell you how proud I am of the strides that I have made.  I have pushed myself every single day to build something for me at a time where it didn't seem like I had the time at all.  But I pushed through and the growth, both personal and profession, has been a huge accomplishment.

The biggest thing that I have been working towards this year is finding more balance.  I desperately needed it and it's something that as a mother, I think we  all struggle with.  I remember talking to a friend not long ago about how the days were just so long and she said to me, "It's hard being just a mom."  When she said that, it stopped me and those words sunk deep down within.  I couldn't agree more but at the same time, I wasn't comfortable with the realization that I was just a mom and that was my life.  Finding the balance that I needed, taking more time for myself, seeing friends more often and having things that I am proud of has led me to being happier and a better person all around.  I enjoy moments more and truly love my life and what's ahead.  Everyone needs balance in their life whether you are a mom or not and I am so glad I found mine.

I would say that Loyal and I are at a strange point in our lives right now where we both want more out of life.  It's hard for me to put this out there because I don't want to ever come across as ungrateful but we want more time.  More time as a family and with each other.  Date nights have been far and few the past couple years and when we get them now, they are everything to us.  Aside from spending one on one time, we crave family time more than anything.  I don't know what it is but it seems like the further we get into our lives together, the faster it passes by.  The weekends come and go before we know it.  The vacations turn into memories far too quickly.  We just want more of it.  More family time.  More memories.  More out of life.  Loyal has been super busy with work for a while now which means that I am super busy with the kids and everything else.  We are both so ready to just live on vacation.  Is that too much to ask?? :)

I honestly couldn't be happier with my life.  I have been beyond blessed with the family that I have and the 3 babies of mine that picked me to be their mother.  So much of our time is spent laughing and making memories and enjoying life as it flies by.  There is nothing more that I could ask for.  (Except maybe that permanent vacation thing?)  Life is perfect in the most imperfect of ways.  So heres to the second half of the year, the better half, the beginning of 34!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This past weekend we went to my sisters house to have a pool day and celebrate my birthday with my family.  I have been doing so well with eating clean and healthy so I wanted to continue that over the weekend.  You don't usually see many healthy options at summer cookouts so I wanted to bring something that I could eat and not feel guilty about.  This Black Bean Quinoa Salad was so easy to make and packed with so many healthy super foods!
The great thing about this recipe is how easy and versatile it is.  I grabbed all of the veggies I had in my fridge that I needed to use up and put them in this salad.  You are free to add and subtract anything depending on what you like!  Another thing that I love about this recipe is that it is a great transition into trying quinoa.  Quinoa was something that I never incorporated into my diet until very recently.  Loaded with health benefits, it's a great source of protein and makes for a much healthier side dish than what you would normally have at a cookout!

1 Cup Quinoa (Uncooked)
1 Cube Vegetable Bouillon
1/2 Cup Black Beans
3/4 Cup Yellow Bell Peppers
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Red Onion
1 Cup Zucchini
1/2 Cup Corn (Cut off the cob)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Lime
1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
Salt & Pepper

Cook quinoa according to package.  I added 1 Bouillon cube 2 cups of water and brought that to boil.   Meanwhile, I rinsed the quinoa until the water ran clear.  Once the quinoa was fully rinsed, I added it to the boiling water, reduced heat to simmer, covered the pot and let it cook for 15 minutes.

While the quinoa cooked, I chopped all of my veggies.  When the quinoa is finished cooking, I fluffed it with a fork and set it aside to let it cool.  Once cooled, stir in the veggies and add dressing. Mix all together and serve!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Bucket List

It's crazy to think that today is the first official day of Summer.  Since school has been out for over a month now, I feel like summer break should be wrapping up soon.  Just me?  Anyway, we have been laying low around here and really enjoying these slow summer days.  The kids are sleeping in a little later and it's nice to not have anywhere to be most days.  This summer I prefer the backyard over outings simply because it's a lot of work getting everyone up, ready and out of the house just to rush home with cranky kids trying to beat nap time.  So with that being said, our summer will mostly consist of some good old family time in the backyard with a few fun activities sprinkled in here and there.  The best way to hang on to your sanity over the summer is to keep the kids BUSY so here is our list of what we have planned over the next couple of months.  Now what we will actually accomplish is TBD. :)

Summer Bucket List
Pool days
S'mores in the backyard
Trip to the Zoo
Farmer's Market
Lake day
Quick trip to the beach
Children's Museum
Water Balloon Fight
Movie Night
Make Popsicles
Putt Putt
Visit the Sunflower Farm
Make homemade ice cream 


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The secret to finding St. Simon's Island Tree Spirits!

I have been to many beach towns and I have never seen a more unique characteristic than that of the Tree Sprits of St. Simons Island.  Hand carved by artist Keith Jennings, over 20 faces are scattered throughout the famous oaks of St. Simons and the craftsmanship is truly incredible.  While some are easy to spot and others a little trickier to find, I uncovered a hidden secret to finding some of the artists most beautiful work on the island.
(This beautiful and stunning mermaid is right outside of the Welcome Center.)

Intrigued by the beauty of this intricate art, I was determined to find as many Tree Spirits as I could.  I stumbled upon the artists website where he shared a map to all of the tree spirits he has carved in St. Simons, both on public and private property.  The public tree spirits can easily be found using a map from the Welcome Center but the private ones, we were on the hunt for.  Using the map from Keith Jennings website, if you zoom in and look near the downtown area, there is a small circular cluster of spirits between Ocean Blvd. and Kings Way.  This little cluster of Tree Spirits is in the most charming neighborhood filled with picturesque homes that are straight out of a magazine.
(Can you find the 2 Tree Spirits in the picture above?)
We took advantage of a break in the rain and spent the morning strolling through the quiet neighborhood, gazing at all of the incredible architecture and breathtaking oak lined streets.  From the front porches to the beautiful hydrangea filled landscape, every single detail in this neighborhood was a dream to walk through.  Loyal and I had the best time dreaming about which house we would take if we could move there.  It was hard to choose a favorite!
The kids were so ecstatic every time we spotted a new one and to be completely honest, Loyal and I enjoyed it just as much.  After learning a little bit about the artist and his work, it was fascinating to see the detail within each carving.  Each uniquely named, these now famous weather faces began appearing across the island back in the early 80's.  The faces of the Tree Spirits fueled legends of resembling fallen sailors who lost their lives at sea.  Whether true or not, the sorrowful expressions of many of the spirits appear rather eerie and haunting in a way.
When I stopped by the Welcome Center to pick up a map, the sweet man working inside started chatting with me about the Legend of the Tree Spirits.  He was so knowledgeable about Keith Jennings and his precise carvings.  Apparently Jennings does everything by hand without any power drills at all and much to my surprise, they don't take him long to complete.  The mermaid above only took him 2 weeks!
This was definitely a highlight of our trip.  If you decide to venture over to this lovely neighborhood, please be mindful that it is a "Private Drive." :)

More about St. Simons and our trip here, if you are interested.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Oreo Pancakes

If you know my husband, you know he has the worlds biggest sweet tooth.  We would have dessert after every meal if it were up to him.  This Father's Day I convinced him to let me have full control of breakfast without him being able to select or veto any items.  I assured him that I had everything ready to go and I had come up with a full breakfast menu that would be beyond what he could have ever imagined.  Being from New Orleans, Loyal loves any sort of seafood breakfast so I came up with a Crawfish Étouffée Omelette served with a warm buttery biscuit that definitely passed his test!  Following the omelette, the pressure was on for dessert and I knew I had to deliver something out of this world for him.  What better way than incorporating 2 of his favorite things: Oreos and pancakes!
Warm, fluffy, buttery and with an explosion of flavor that is sure to satisfy even the biggest of sweet tooths, these pancakes were a home run.  I kept my Oreo pieces chunky to not mask the flavor of the pancake and instead give a true Oreo flavor in each bite.  Topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle, these pancakes were incredible! 

1 1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Egg
1 1/4 CupMilk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
5 Tbsp Butter, Melted
8 Chopped Oreos
(Finely crushed Oreos for topping/garnish)

Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir together.  Lightly beat egg in a separate bowl.  Add milk and vanilla to egg and stir.  Melt butter and add to dry ingredients.  Add all other wet ingredients to dry ingredients then fold in the chopped Oreos.  I kept my Oreo pieces pretty chunky.  Pour onto skillet and flip when there are bubbles in the top.  Pancakes are done when each side is golden brown.

Friday, June 15, 2018

B. Spectacled

B. Spectacled is your newest luxury eyewear boutique located in downtown Alpharetta.  From the modern design to the high fashion brands, this store delivers all of the charm and comfort you need for your upscale eyewear experience.  Let them pour you a drink, relax and have fun shopping for your fabulous new glasses! 
Where simplicity meets luxury, B. Spectacled carries a wide variety of exclusive luxury brands leaving you with the best selection of eyewear in the North Atlanta area.  When it comes to choosing a high end pair of sunglasses, I prefer more of a personal experience.  I want to be sure that I am making the best selection for what fits my face and enhances my personal style.  B. Spectacled offers individual, one-on-one styling with their expert frame stylists to ensure that you leave with frames that best fit your facial features as well as your lifestyle!
I sat down with Brittany to find my new pair of sunglasses.  She hand selected several options that she felt worked well with the shape of my face.  She provided a mix of lenses that were what I would usually gravitate towards as well as ones that were out of my comfort zone.  What I love most about getting a personal experience while shopping is that you try things that you normally wouldn't.  I was blown away at how well each and every item she pulled for me looked!  Brittany has such a great eye for knowing what works for you and really giving you a unique experience.
So which ones did I go with? The Chloe!
50 Canton Street
Suite 112
Alpharetta, GA 30009

A huge thank you to B. Spectacled for working with me on this post!

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