Birth Story: BrynLee

birth is very raw and unedited.

today was such a humbling experience, being able to share the birth of my niece BrynLee.

being able to witness two amazing people become parents was amazing. and yes, i cried!

being a mother to my own little, i had a deep heartfelt emotion for the birthing mother. it brought back all the feels i had when bringing Jaxson into the world 3 years ago.

i cannot thank them enough for allowing me to be apart of their special day.

it was beautiful. it was perfect. it was nothing short of amazing. Xo

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Somewhere In A Desert

there is something about being in the desert that drives my soul wild.

when life gives you desert, you have a mini photo sesh.

scroll down to see the full video of us Making Memories..

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“Desert sunsets. The sun and earth always seem larger. Wilder. Brighter. More demanding. More silent. Somehow more certain.”- Victoria Erickson

 

 

 

 

Microblading

Microblading.

i am here to tell you all about Microblading and my recent experience with it. i am already absolutely obsessed with mine and they aren’t even healed yet. Kahli is an eyebrow god. I swear. She definitely knows what she is doing! if you have instagram, look her up! @kahli5150

if you are like me, you too do not understand how to “fill” in your eyebrows using a feathering technique. WHAT??  i don’t even know what that means. i was TERRIBLE at eyebrows.

i put together a little Q&A for anyone that, like me, is a first timer and not so sure about microblading. now that i have done it, i would definitely recommend it to anyone!

 

index

 

Q. Does microblading hurt?

A. i truly think this depends on the person. to me, it felt like scraping. Kahli also put numbing cream on throughout the procedure that helped take the pain away too.

Q. How long does the process to take?

A. the whole process took about an hour and a half from start to finish.

Q. How long does it take to recover or heal?

A. on the first day, my eyebrows were darker than normal. she directed me to use Aquaphor to help heal. avoid sunlight and saunas or other steam. the eyebrows will scab up a little bit and then peel. They will go lighter, and then the pigment I chose will surface. the total process should be healed in just a couple weeks.

Q. Will my eyebrows look fake?

A. NO! to me, the lines were so fine that they look the same as normal hair would. it looks like i just went to a really, really good brow artist.

Q. How long does microblading last?

A. Kahli set me up for a touch up a month from my original procedure date. once i do the touch up, my brows can last up to 12 months.

Q. How do you pick a shape or color?

A. she started by placing a sticky ruler on my head. yes, ladies and gentlemen. she doesn’t just go for it. its calculated to fit the shape of your face and be even. she asked me if i wanted a more natural look or more defined. she took me to the mirror to see the shape she drew out and determine if that was what i wanted. she also picked four different shades of color for me to choose from. we discussed and she gave her input to make sure i completely understood what i was choosing.

Q. Will they fade?

A. when i first walked out, i swear i had the angriest eyebrows on the planet. it definitely made me nervous. she said that may last for up to a week. then they will fade and become really light once the scabs peel. once the scabs come off, the natural pigment will surface and it will be the color i chose.

Q. What if I don’t like it?

A. i didn’t really ask Kahli this question, because i really do love mine. BUT in the event that you might not like yours, this is semi permanent makeup. it will fade over time.

 

if you are considering microblading, all i can say is DO YOUR RESEARCH! look at previous work, read up on it, and ask questions! i think you will fall in love with it just like i did! Xo

 

 

DIY Candy Kabobs

SPOILER ALERT!

since the theme for Jaxxy’s party is “Young, Wild, and Three” i decided to throw a lot of “wild” things in to the mix. not jungle wild, but crazy-thinking, wild. wild as in nothing-really-fits-a-theme, wild.

one of my additions to the upcoming party was DIY candy kabobs. they are fun, colorful, and SO easy for anyone to make! + no grilling experience necessary!  i couldn’t wait to share it, so i had to post before his party this upcoming Saturday!

Items Needed:

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Directions:

  1. take one of your skewers and get it wet with your water. i found this to be an effective step, because the candies would get stuck or not drag down as easily if i didn’t add water first.
  2. with pointy side up, slide candy pieces down your skewer. leave a little room at the bottom to hold the skewer.
  3. continue sliding candies down, and applying water as needed to the skewer, until your skewer is full. i placed a star at the top of each of ours so the party goers wouldn’t get poked!
  4. place each skewer in one of your treat bags and tie the end tightly so your candies don’t get dried out.

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you can add all kinds of candy to fit your theme which makes it fun for any party!

i am getting so excited for jaxson’s party, i cannot even stand it! #3moredays!! Xo

 

My Type of Party

YOU GUYS! i am so sorry i have been MIA. i am running around like crazy trying to make sure that everything is ready to go for Saturday!! i cannot even sleep because i am so excited!! just like i have said in my previous posts, i love to party! the best part is getting everyone you love together and seeing everyone have fun! there are a few things that i always incorporate in Jaxson’s parties. whether they are small details or a big part of the party, they are always there!

my type of party includes:

PINEAPPLES!

yes! you read that right! PINEAPPLES! i love them! Pineapples are a traditional expression of “welcome” and symbolizes warmth, welcome, friendship, and hospitality.

BALLOONS!

if i had to choose one item to decorate with for the rest of my life, it would be balloons. there are SO many things you can do with balloons!

COLOR!

color? rachael using color? if you know me, i am an all-black-everything type of girl, so color is not usually in my vocabulary. but i do love color. pops of color are the best! it can make any party more fun.

FOOD!

choose food that fits the theme! it brings the party to life and adds a bit more. for Jaxson’s backyard luau, we had pulled pork sandwiches and “pig roast” chocolate pics and pretzel rods!

WATER!

now, this one could vary depending on the month and location of the party. it is HOT for Jaxson’s party so i love to throw in some water. water slides, water balloons, pools, squirt guns, even dunk tanks! anything to keep our guests cool in the hot, July sun!

#3moredays until Jaxson’s big party reveal! Xo

 

Pig Roasts and Piñatas

if you have been following along through my previous posts, you will notice that my Pinata making has come hand in hand with trial and error. they are not perfect. they are messy. they are bumpy. they are perfectly imperfect.

nowadays, people like to use cardboard to create fantastic shapes, and i am still over here using good old flour and water mixtures.

both are great.

so now i would like to introduce you to the luau pinata pig.

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Winston was created for Jaxson’s second birthday party, the backyard Luau. the theme of this birthday was Hawaiian luau style.

luau= pig roast.

no, no. i didn’t have a giant pig roasting in the backyard for his party (though i considered it), but i did create things that fit the “pig roast” theme.

i knew i wanted a pig pinata. i was even going to throw the apple in it’s mouth to make it more fun, but decided not to go that far, for the kids.

how to make a Pig pinata:

materials:

1 balloon
6 toilet paper rolls (or you can use paper towel rolls)
pink paint/sponge paint brush
paper
black sharpie or other marker
scissors
glue or tape

 

  1. i started by blowing up the balloon, tying off the end, and taping the tied end of the balloon down into a coffee mug.
  2. next, i ripped up pieces of newspaper into thin strips that i would use to create the mold of my piñata.
  3. i then mixed flour and water to create my paste. i used 1 cups flour to 3 cups water. (add more water or flour to create your desired consistency). i made sure it wasn’t too watery, however. you want to make sure the paste is a little thicker.
  4. i took a strip of newspaper and dipped it into the paste, ran the paper through my index and middle finger to squeeze off an excess paste, and placed it on my balloon, overlapping each strip slightly so there were no spaces between each paper piece. i continued this process until the balloon was entirely covered.
  5. i let this dry and harden for several hours and then did another layer, and another. i continued to move the balloon around so i was covering all sides of the balloon except for where it was tied.
  6. once i added all of my layers evenly, i decided which side would be the “belly” of my pig and laid that side up. i grabbed 4 of my toilet paper cardboard rolls and placed them where i wanted the legs of the pig to sit. i attached them with tape and some of my paper mache mixture and let it dry. I did that a few times until they were hard enough to stand alone sturdy without falling. i covered the bottom of each roll so the holes were closed. i used paper mache mixture for that as well.
  7. once our pig could stand on his own 4 legs, i flipped him over and added the ears and snout using the last 2 toilet paper rolls. for the snout, with my toilet paper roll sitting vertically, i cut it in half horizontally then took each half and cut a slit in it so it was a “C” shape. I connected both of my “C” shapes together using tape and attached it to the front of the pig’s face using more tape and paper mache. I covered the front of the nose with a piece of paper, by cutting a circle out to my paper and attaching it with more tape and paper mache. for the ears, i took our other toilet paper roll and cut that in half horizontally just as i did for the snout. i took each piece and cut out ear shapes. i connected those to the pig using more tape and paper mache mix. i took another piece of my paper and made a little tail. i twisted up paper and made a little curvy tail.
  8. once all the pieces of the pig had hardened, using a few layers of paper mache, i painted the pig with pink paint. i painted over it a few times so you could no longer see the newspaper coming through.
  9. once the paint was dry, i added the eyes, nostrils on the snout, and a little smile.
  10. i added a homemade paper lei. directions on how to make those flowers can be found here on Lia Griffith.

Jaxson named him Winston. i completed making him a few weeks before his 2nd birthday party and jaxson was in love with him. he would talk to him and pretend to feed him. i almost backed out on using him for the party because i was worried jax would be heartbroken when he was broken apart by all the mini party goers but he wasn’t. he was first up and ready to swing!

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along with Winston the pig, we also had some pig roasts. and they were DELICIOUS!

how to make pig roasts:

materials:

pig mold ( similar found here on Amazon.com)
pink Wilton chocolate candy melts (found here)
pretzel rods

  1. melt the chocolate in a bowl until it is melted. use a spoon to mix and melt a little more if necessary. CAUTION: it can get very hot, so be careful. i just melted mine in the microwave.
  2. pour the melted candy into your molds and lightly tap so that you get air bubbles out.
  3. once you feel like most of the bubbles have surfaced, lay a pretzel rod horizontally across the mold and pour a little more over the pretzel. twist the rod until the candy is attached to the rod and the candy in the mold and place in the fridge for about an hour.
  4. once they have hardened, bend the edges and carefully pop your pig mold out.

i had to cut my molds so that i could lay the rods across each one without bumping into each other. i placed each pretzel rod and candy mold in a cellophane bag, tied off the end, and added a little printed note that says “pig roast”. these were a huge hit and everyone was asking for more!

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this time last year was very hectic for us. we had jaxson’s birthday, an august Bahamas trip, and selling our home all back to back. we were just go, go, go. i don’t know where i found the time to pull off his 2nd birthday backyard luau, but i did it!

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