What Disney’s Mickey Means To Me

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It is no surprise that we as a family are head over heels for Disney’s Mickey Mouse. Pretty much anything Disney related gets us excited. I frequented Disneyland Resort as a little girl and knew once I became a mom myself that we’d adventure through Disneyland together. It all started with Mickey Mouse, literally everything and we’re so happy to have partnered with Hanna Andersson to celebrate his 90th Anniversary!

My son and I used to go to Disneyland Resort once a week. Most days we’d drive over in the afternoon, ride our favorites, snack on a churro and head home. There were a few days during the month that we’d stay till the evening to watch the nighttime parade. Romping around the Disneyland theme parks soon became our thing. I knew Disneyland through out even before my son was born. BUT getting the chance to take him and re-see the parks through his eyes, was magical. There really is nothing more incredible than watching your children experience things, happy and exciting things. You know when their face lights up and they let our a deep giggle. Or when they stop in their tracks in complete aw. I also loved the feeling of his little hands wrapped around my leg when waiting in line for our favorite rides. Disneyland was our place. 

My son, his name was Ryan, on his last day here on Earth we went to Disneyland. We woke up early and entered Disney California Adventure park being the first to enter that day! We ran straight for his favorite ride in Cars Land and rode it with giant smiles on our faces. You know, I had no idea I’d be forced to say to good bye to my Ryan that night. Though I have to believe that us being able to enjoy Disneyland together just one more time was meant to be. If you are familiar with our story then you know, that night we lost Ryan quick and out of the blue. It tore my inside out and our whole world crashed down. I share it all on my blog, but I’ll be the first one to tell you that how we lost him doesn’t matter. What matters is that we continue to live in his honor. What matters is that we still do the things Ryan loved to do. What matters is that we share how we kept living despite the hurt and pain thrown our way. 

My first time back to Disneyland after my son passed was something I was dreading. I felt scared because I didn’t want a place that was so grand to suddenly became a dark place for me. I knew I had to go to just see, to just experience it now with Ryan up in Heaven. I had to go for him. So I went. That day was immensely sad with hints of happiness around every corner. Visiting Disneyland that day was when I really began to understand that I could feel sad and happy at the same time. Come to find out, I feel happy and sad nearly everyday now that is OK. It is OK to feel two feelings at the same time. I realized that Disneyland was still our place. It still held our memories and laughs. I decided to keep going just as we did before and even today it feels like Ryan meets us there. 

My daughter Mila was born after we lost our son Ryan. In our family we speak of him daily and remember him out loud. Mila knows who her big brother is and she tells me that he lives in the sky. There sibling bond is like no other and I am so honored to call Ryan and Mila my children. Soon after Mila came into our lives we took her Disneyland. Mila now is two and adores anything Disney just like her mom and big brother. We frequent Disneyland Resort once a week and work in a few nights a month where we stay late for the nighttime parade. Mila enjoys different things within the park than her brother did, which I love to see. I love to see how they differ. What I find the most magical is that I can now walk around a place with both my kids at the same time, and that really doesn’t happen for me anywhere else. Disneyland is still our place.

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You know, this motherhood of mine isn’t pretty and tied up with a bow. What happened to me is every parents nightmare. Though it happened to me and I am proud to think that God thought me strong enough to endure it. I believe in so many things but one thought I live by is, life isn’t about what happens to you, it is about how you react to what happens to you. Today my family of four visit Disneyland Resort any chance we get. For us it means we can all be together. When you see us together you will only see three, but our son beams from our smiles and the fun we have together as a family. 

Disney’s Mickey Mouse will forever mean the most to us. We are so grateful for what Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Disneyland in general. When Hanna Andersson asked us to share why Disney’s Mickey Mouse was important to us, I couldn’t pass. I know he means different things to different families across the world. I’m just honored I could share about ours. We love the new Disney’s Mickey Mouse pajamas in celebration of his 90th Anniversary! I love that they are red, which was Ryan’s favorite color. The gold shines bright along all the memories our family has within Disneyland. 

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A Simple Way To Pamper Yourself

This blog post is sponsored by JOHNSON'S® but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

It is truly no secret that I crave my night time routine. I look forward to my evenings and most days it comes to me like a golden reward for all my hard work. My night time routine came about out of sheer necessity. I was going insane by pouring my entire being into my new baby at the time, keeping a clean home, being a good wife, the list goes on. Though I'm sure most can relate when I say, I was overwhelmed and not making myself a priority. I hit rock bottom when I was more bitter than happy, lashing out over the smallest of things. I realized I needed to pay more attention to myself and the easiest way for me to do that was to dedicate some time to me, myself and I. I decided that the evening worked best and finding something I could do at home was vital. Only because I didn't want to rely on having to find a sitter or pay extra money to go out and do something each time I wanted time for myself. So taking a time out for just me at night seemed perfect and I decided to use that time to wash my face, use a face mask and overall pamper myself in the comfort of my own home. I talk about this endlessly. If you have been following me for a while you know that my daughter Mila goes to bed at 7:30pm. Once she hits the sheets I take about thirty minutes to myself before spending time with my husband. My night time routine or "me-time" has become a staple and makes me a better mother, wife and friend.

During my night time routine I love experimenting with skin care products. One thing most might not know about me is that I'm quite obsessed with all things skin and I love all kinds of products ranging from things you can purchase at the beauty counter and drugstore. I love using my "me-time" exploring products that are new and ones that have been around forever. I am always using new things, but more recently I've been obsessing over JOHNSON'S® Baby Oil Gel. It might sound odd to be using what everyone knows as a baby product on myself … but it is delicious! Johnson's products are something I have been familiar with ever since I was a little girl. I never thought to use the products on myself but when JOHNSON'S® reached out to me I was all ears. The thing I love most about this brand is that it is affordable and attainable. I love that when people ask "How is your skin so soft?" I can tell them my secret and they can implement the product in their own routine with ease. After using this specific product for a few weeks I decided to partner with Johnson's to share why I love their Baby Oil Gel and a fun coupon for you all to use!

If you are interested, starting May 10th you can receive $1 off one or $2.50 off two Johnson's products! You can click HERE for the coupon and more info.

First and foremost I believe that moisturizing your skin is imperative. I think that having healthy skin is the foundation to any great look. The best way to achieve healthy skin is to moisturize. So no matter what you do or what you use, moisturizing is key. I love to moisturize at night after I shower and currently I have been using the Johnson's Baby Oil Gel in the Calming Lavender scent. When your skin is freshly exfoliated and clean it really soaks in product. When I apply the Johnson's Baby Oil Gel I can literally feel my skin drinking it in. I try and focus on dry areas like; my knees, feet and elbows. The best part of this product though is the scent. It doesn't smell "baby" which was surprising, the scent is very subtle. I enjoy the hints of lavender especially in the evening, it definitely is calming.

I never thought to dive into products that are more known for little ones, but they baby your skin in all the right ways. There are two other Johnson's products I have made staples; the Hand & Face Wipes and the Cocoa and Shea Butter Baby Creamy Oil. I love taking the Hand & Face wipes on the go for both myself and my daughter. The Cocoa and Shea Butter Baby Creamy Oil is great during the day when my skin needs a moisture pick me up. The smell is incredible and it is non-greasy, I love the texture!

As a mother I really try to find easy ways to pamper myself. My night time routine is my number one way to take time for me. I've had such a great time testing out these Johnson's products and thrilled they work so well. I love that they are now part of my skin care routine. I also love that the Cocoa and Shea Butter Baby Creamy Oil offers a little indulgence when I need a little daytime moisture. Though I've partnered with JOHNSON'S® on this #babyyourskin campaign all my opinions are my own and I'm so happy to have worked with them. I've enjoyed shedding light on a product that we are so familiar with and using it in a different way. As I mentioned before, I love that these products are affordable and attainable to all. I think it is so important to take time for yourself. Sometimes pampering yourself can mean spending a lot of time and money away from home. I am here to tell you that it doesn't have to! Indulging in some "me-time" and pampering yourself can be as simple as using some products in your own bathroom!

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A Simple Make-Up Routine + Tips & Tricks I Learned From My Visit To Sephora Inside JCPenney

Last week I ventured into Sephora inside JCPenney to have a make-up makeover and was quite surprised with the outcome. Truth be told I don’t know much about make-up (or hair). Over the years I have learned the bare minimum and have acquired a taste or look rather that I can do in under 10 minutes. It involves zero ‘contour’, ‘baking’ or whatever the standing make-up trend is these days. I wear no eye shadow, foundation or eyeliner. Pretty much I’m the most boring person for the job BUT the sweet Sephora Area Education Manager (AEM), Yadi, saw otherwise. She saw a mom who is always in a rush, though desperately wanted to still feel confident. She saw a girl who was interested in make-up trends but was too scared and didn’t have the time to play around with them. Most importantly she saw a woman who deserves a great and quick look … plus a little pampering too!

I settled into the chair and this is what I learned. For me a good blush is key and a full brow is necessary. I also have to curl my lashes and the base of my make-up routine MUST include a SPF. The new (or new to me really) trend I wanted to learn about was using a ‘highlighter’. To achieve a subtle glow if you will. The outcome was a look that updated my current one. For a simple make-up routine that offers subtle coverage and a fresh sun kissed look I’m your gal!

Yadi, my AEM, was perfection. She was so kind and answered all my questions. She had an answer/product for anything I asked about. I have been going into Sephora for years now, always entering a little overwhelmed. Each time leaving a little more skilled than before. This last time was my best visit yet. I feel 100% more confident in my make-up routine and even a little more skilled in a few new beauty trends! I also left with a few new products that have undoubtedly simplified my daily routine which I’m honestly most excited about. As a mom time to myself is limited, especially in the morning. I need a quick make-up routine that still makes me feel good about myself but also allows me to apply it while having my babe tug on my leg.

Below I’ll take you through my updated make-up routine and the tips and tricks I learned from my visit at the Sephora inside JCPenney!

First and foremost cleansing the skin is key. I’ve learned that starting with a proper clean face will allow your make-up to set on your skin correctly. It also offers a bit of pampering in the morning. I love taking a few minutes to wash my face, tone and moisturize my face. I even play a little music quietly while in the bathroom by myself too. Just to help zone out and be with just ME. During my visit, Yadi me a few great options on skin care. While I have my own skin care routine down, I did learn about a hydrating spray by Caudlie. This spray is ideal for hydrating your skin prior to adding your moisturizer. It helps tone your skin and offers a refreshing minty feel. I bought the travel size but I know I’ll be going back to get the large version! After the spray I apply a moisturizer with SPF.

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As I mentioned I don’t wear foundation or concealer. But I do like a bit of coverage. I love using the Bare Minerals face powder as it creates a great even look and keeps my oily skin in check through out the day. I just a light layer of this before adding bronzer and blush.

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During my visit I was introduced to the BECCA palette that Chrissy Teigen created. The pallet offers a bronzer, blush and two highlighters. I’ve never had a make-up palette before mostly because I’d never known how to use all the options within the pallet. Yadi was able to educate me in using all the options and I loved them all! I use the bronzer option first and apply it starting at my temples and bringing it down below my cheek bone. You’ll want to create a ‘C’ shape. Doing this I learned helps frame your face nicely. In short it “contours” your face with out doing so with heavy make-up. Its like the basic of all basic techniques for a quick, subtle defined look.

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I then use the blush on my cheeks. I have really high cheek bones and have always been a fan of using blush. I love the look on myself and I really enjoy the blush option from the BECCA palette. I use an angled brush and start at my cheek and swipe upwards. I love the bright sun-kissed look it offers!

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You can use the highlighter within the BECCA palette to add a glow or use the Benefit “Watt’s Up!” highlighter. I bought this because it is small and easy to travel with. For example if I go to the beach or camping I definitely won’t wear any face make-up. Though I might want to have a nice natural glow. I’d bring this product along. It is really easy to use too. I learned that you want to apply your highlighter on the highest points on your face. So you’d want to apply this on the bone beneath your eyes, on the bridge of your nose and on your ‘cupids bow’ which is in the middle of your top lip. You’ll want to do this because the light will catch at those points on your face the most. Once you swipe the product on your face, use your ring finger to blend it in. I also learned that using your ring finger to apply/rub in product into your face offers the least amount of pressure. Also when applying eye cream you’ll want to use your ring finger and do a light tapping motion along your under eye. This will increase blood flow and help decrease eye puff.

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You know that one thing you can’t live with out when doing your make-up. For some it is mascara, foundation or a bold lip? You sort of feel naked if you leave your house with out it? For me that would be filling in my eyebrows. I have a great brow shape, though they are patchy. I have to fill them in. I love using the Anastastia dip brow for my brows and on my visit I was introduced to the brow definer pencil! It is amazing and incredibly simple to use. It also has a brow brush on the other end so essentially when traveling I only have to take this one product along instead of two. I basically outline my brown and then fill it in using small strokes mimicking the direction of my eyebrow hairs. You can go as bold or light as you’d like.

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While I do enjoy a bold lip on occasion, for everyday it is just unrealistic for me. A simple, clear lipgloss with an SPF is necessary. The Fresh Sugar lipgloss is my favorite! I have a few so I’m never with out one. I keep one in my purse, car and on my nightstand! It offers a nice sheer gloss and sun coverage which is important!

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Now, this look fits me but I hope it helps you nail down a routine that fits your own style and time. We all are different and to achieve different things. I enjoyed my time at Sephora inside my JCPenney so much, I am thrilled to share it all with you! If you get an hour to yourself and are interested, I’d definitely recommend heading in to chat with an AEM about products that might work for you. It might also be fun to take another mom friend with you for a fun pampering date.

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The bottom line here is that as mothers we offer up ourselves, our time and general well-being to our family. Day in and day out we continue to be selfless. In all honestly, we are happy to do it! Though we deserve to feel good (and look good) while doing so! We end up being better moms when we take the time to care for ourselves once in a while.

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This post was written in collaboration with JCPenney though all opinions are my own.

#SoWorthIt #SephoraInJCP