Charcoal Seaweed Mask Review

Lately my skin had been feeling rough. No matter how often I washed, it just didn’t have that smoothness. I decided it was time to mask my skin.

I found this charcoal and seaweed mask at Walmart for $2.50. I had never used it before, so that solidified my decision to try it.

I had never used a mask like this, I generally use ones that you have to apply and spread on your face as opposed to a sheet.

Anyhow, I opened the masks d unfolded it. I peeled the first layer off and arranged the mask on my face. Once I had it settled, I peeled the other side off. This one was harder to remove, as I did not want to disrupt the mask placement on my face,

After I had it on, I felt as if I looked led like Hannibal taunting Clarice.

I left it on for 30 minutes. After I removed it, I rubbed the rest of the serum into my skin as instructed.

The next morning, I washed my face as usual. Before I was to moisturize, I noticed how soft and smooth my skin felt. I didn’t put moisturizer in, and jumped straight into my makeup routine, applying primer first.

My skin has been rather smooth these past couple of days.

I give this mask two thumbs up 👍🏾 👍🏾, and for $2.50, you can’t beat that.

I may buy a bunch and gift them to my friends.

Cheers 🥂 to healthy skin!

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Me, Myself, and I

IMG_4388.JPGIn 2016, I decided that 2017 would be the year that I would commit to healing the broken parts of myself.  The decision came from me not wanting to bring issues from my past into my 30’s.  I proclaimed that I would walk into my 30’s a new, maybe not new, but changed woman. I really did, and still do not want to be damaged goods. My 20’s were good, but my 30’s will be greater.

The number one issue in my life that I had to fix was my relationship with my father. My dealings with my dad directly reflect how I treat men. I treat men exactly how I treat my father. I felt as if me being that way would be counterproductive to me teaching my sons to be respectable, accountable, and trustworthy men.

This year, my sister came to live with me. she was raised with our father, I was not, so in a nutshell, we both have daddy issues. We had a many sister talks and got to see our father from each other’s point of view. It was comical to hear all the lies he had told about my mother as to why he was not active in my life. My sister got to see first hand how my dad avoids me. He would call her to check on my kids as opposed to calling me, ya know, their mother.

There were other events that occurred during our time of living together, where we both agreed neither of us had it better than the other.  My father and his ways old fashioned and manipulative had done a great number on us. Those few short months with my sister healed a huge part of me, but there was still work to be done.

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One of my favorite photos of myself and my sister.

I have really gotten into affirmations, setting intentions, and speaking what I want out of life and with my self healing process.

*Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2017*

This was my first Thanksgiving in my adult life with my family on either side. I sat with each of my  family members and had a conversation which confirmed revealed answers I was looking for. It was a bit trippy, I was like damn you unknowingly gave me the answer I have been waiting on. I can say that each answer may not have been the one I wanted, but it was what I needed.

Observing my dad and how he talked to my brother further proved that I really did not miss out on anything. I was like this man is short fused and angry for no reason, oh and lets not forget always right *rolls eyes*. I wanted to engage him in a conversation about this, but he ALWAYS avoids this topic when I bring it up. He never wants to go head to head with me about real issues, that’s another trait I detest in other people.  My dad and his way with people is why I have struggled dearly with trusting men. When I say trusting, I don’t mean I think they will cheat or things of that nature, It’s more of,  “I think you’re generally full of shit and will lie about anything” type of distrust. Knowing what I know now, this train of thought is not healthy.  In the last few months I have gotten better with trusting, as I am learning to change the way I think.

With me making progress in this area, I have been thrown a test in the form of my sons father. The way he handles me and my son is exactly how my dad does me and my mom. It’s beyond frustrating, and makes me want to tear some shit up. Lol, I’m not going that route though. I am determined to completely heal this area and totally transform my thinking. I WILL pass this test.

The self healing process is not pretty. You will cry, you’ll get angry, you’ll be joyous of your progress, but the end result is well worth going through all those things. You have to know that the things you will learn about yourself may piss you off, but if you don’t check self, how can you check anyone else. It will not happen over night, and trust me it is a daily crusade.

It is extremely necessary for one to heal themselves, no one else can do it for you. When working on self beware of other people who are broken and are not trying to change. They will drain and discourage you if you let them. I know it’s easier said than done, but you have to cut that out of your life if you’re serious about healing.

I ultimately want to be a better me, a better mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

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Knowing who you are gives you power over those who challenge your identity.

 

 

 

Refresh Yourself! 

So I have decided to add a section to my blog called, “Sarah’s  Self Care Suggestions”. Here I will be giving tips on how one can better care for self, as self care is so vital. We cannot care for other people until we first take care ourselves.

As a mother, I know all too well the uncontrollable desire to put your children before yourself, when more than likely our children lack nothing. The first installment of this new section will be about detoxing and alkalizing the body with baking soda.

Many of us are familiar with baking soda being used in the kitchen for baking  and keeping the refrigerator odor free. Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, is cost effective and a very efficient natural health commodity

Baking soda is one of the best ways to alkalize the body. It helps with issues such as hemorrhoids, yeast infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and balances the body pH, just to name a few. When your body is not alkalized, you are susceptible to inflammation and degeneration, ultimately creating an unfavorable environment. Scary, right?

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Now that I’ve given you some background information, I’m going to tell you how to create a detoxing spa experience at home.

Moms, you know that window of free time you have once you put the kids to bed, use it for yourself. Whatever didn’t get done, won’t get done, so don’t hurt yourself trying to do it. You deserve some time to yourself.

 The first thing you need to do is gather your supplies, baking soda of course being the most important. You can put on some relaxing music, light some candles, and burn some incense. Whatever you need to relax.

Next, fill the tub with hot water, as hot as you can stand it. Once you’ve filled your tub with water, put your baking soda in. Make sure its dissolved before getting in. I recommend first timers use just a cup of baking soda, and you can gradually increase the number of cups used the more you do this.

Soak for about 30-45 minutes. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER!! You will get thirsty when doing this. You should drink 20-32 ounces of water while soaking, and more once you get out.

After you’re done soaking, gently rinse your body off. I personally like to bathe with a lavender soap after my rinse to further relax the body to ensure a excellent nights sleep.

Once you’ve gotten out, do NOT moisturize your body, as your body will sweat out toxins while you’re sleeping. So you’ll need to wash your sheets after this as well.

 Wake up refreshed

 

So, when you feel your body getting out of sync and just feeling plain ‘ol nasty, take a baking soda bath to refresh yourself.

Your body will thank you. We cannot properly care for anyone or anything else until we first care for ourselves.

I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know your results if you decide to try this. Also, be on the look out for many more tips.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Fresh Out the Bed

For the last six years, I have dreaded getting up in the morning.  Why do I have to get up, can I wait until mid morning?

It wasn’t until March of this year that I decided to get my sleeping habits/pattern under control. This was a result of me acquiring an IPhone 6 Plus and utilizing the bedtime and sleep analysis feature.

My sleep habits were HORRIBLE! I was averaging about 3 hours of sleep a night. I kept wondering how was I able to function throughout the day. I had to get this together and quickly. That also meant that I had to get my boys sleep habits under control as well.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, someone in my age range (26-64) needs anywhere between 7-9 hours each night.

Clearly I was nowhere close to that.

I took the time out to create an evening schedule so that I could be in the bed by 9:45.

I noticed a drastic change in how I felt every morning, except one thing…

I WAS STILL UPSET ABOUT GETTING UP.

I figured I’d set alarms at intervals to slowly pull me out of my sleep. At the time it did not cross my mind, but we sleep in stages, so wouldn’t it make sense that we wake up in stages.

I did no research to see if it would help, I just went straight for experimentation.

With the sleep analysis feature, an alarm is already set for the time you desire, so there is no need to set another for the same rime. Mine is set to go off at 5am, with the subsequent alarms going off at 5:30, 5:45, and 6am.

The alarm set via the sleep analysis feature plays a soft music when it goes off, that does not abruptly wakens me. I am cognizant enough to turn it off, but not completely awakened either.

My 5:30 alarm is the standard alarm sound that comes on the iPhone. That alarm is also tolerable, as I had previously heard an alarm and am now aware that it is almost time to rise

5:45 alarm goes off to the sounds of I Can by HoodRich Pablo Juan & Migos. It helps to get me pumped about getting out of bed and doubles as a bit of motivation.

Lastly, my 6am alarm goes off to the tune of Deadz by Migos. This song totally gets me hyped and encourages one to get those dead presidents (money for those who don’t know).

This may seem like a long process, but it’s completely worth it. I don’t feel like I was cheated out of any rest when I do get out of the bed.  I genuinely feel like a productive member of society when I get up.

I have even tried this with my boys who are most definitely not morning people. I noticed a change in attitude once they are up versus when I would just wake them up and make them immediately get day started. I hear “Good morning mommy” versus them growling and whining.

Get On Up by Jodeci is the song I use to wake my boys.

I am obviously no professional, but I am a busy mama who was tired of feeling, and I am here to share the things I have tried.  This method worked the first try around for me, and we have been using it for months.

Additionally, I had to learn that staying up late to do things while the kids are sleeping was unhealthy.

In conclusion, how you wake up is just as important as falling asleep.

If you try it let me know what you did differently and if you also try it with your children.

Thanks for reading!

What a Difference a Year Makes

December 22, 2014, a day I won’t forget. I was at work, and received a call from my sons pediatrician. He told me I needed to pick my son up NOW and get him to the emergency room. I stood up at my desk, and said “Ok. What’s going on?” He proceeded to tell me that my son had a skull fracture with bleeding on his brain. That he had called the emergency room and told them I’d be in with him. I remember telling my boss “I’m leaving and don’t know when I’d be back”. I called my mom while I was en route, and she was able to keep me a calm while I drive. I made it to daycare in 10 minutes tops. I sat in the car composing myself because I knew this could get ugly extremely fast. I walked in as another parent walked out. I went to where my son was sleeping and I stood there. His caregiver was changing another child or something, I really do not remember. When she turned around and saw me standing there, she tried to make conversation. I wasn’t having it. I asked had my son fallen or been dropped since he had been going there. She said no. Ok, I figured that would be your response. I walked out rudely, and sped to the hospital.

Sure enough, they were awaiting our arrival at the hospital. I was questioned by doctors, detectives, and Child Protective Services. I was highly upset because I knew I had not harmed my child, yet I was being interrogated to the point of aggravation. When I was told an investigation had to be done to see where my son would end up, it hurt my soul! My baby was still exclusively breastfeed, so I’m thinking he can only be with me, and I’ll be highly upset if someone gave him formula.

When the doctors showed me the scan of my sons head and told me he should have been in a coma because of all of the blood on his brain, I could have lost it. I was livid!! The up side of it was they also told me he showed no signs of shaken baby syndrome, so he had either fallen or been dropped, *sucks teeth*. They told me how some of the blood was old and some new. Whaaaaat?!? Are you serious? All types of thoughts are running through my mind. Who would harm a child? A very small child at that. It was concluded that he was injured between the ages of 4 and 6 months.

These people turned my life upside down! Interviewing anyone who had ever interacted with my son, questioning my abilities as a mother, the whole nine. Meanwhile doctors came up with a plan as to how they plan to remove the blood from his head. He was scheduled to have two drains inserted, one on each side of his head, to remove the excess blood. First my baby needed a blood transfusion because his was low.  W T F! Dad may not have known it then, but I’ll tell him now, he kept me sane while my son was in the hospital.

December 26th, surgery day. Needless to say I’m nervous as all get out. The hardest thing ever was watching my 6 month old be wheeled away and I couldn’t be right there next to him. Surgery went well. Of course I couldn’t pick him up because of the drains, which meant I couldn’t nurse him. I absolutely hate pumping, but I did it for my son. He was a busy baby, trying to pull the drains from his head out of curiosity. The drains were connected to these measuring tubes on each side of his bed, and I could see all of this blood being removed from his head. CRAZY! As the days went on, the doctor informed me that the nurse could close the tubing so I could nurse him. That was a great relief. I was more than cautious with him. Our bonding time was limited due to these drains. My son would not nurse for long, as he would just fall asleep. He was comforted just being in my arms.

 One of the drains my son was connected to.

Being in PICU was hard. I was away from my oldest son, and he could only visit 20 minutes a day because he is younger than 14. About a week goes by, and no improvement in his condition. The neurosurgeon told me how his next step was to install a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt.

A ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt is a medical device that relieves pressure on the brain caused by fluid accumulation. VP shunting is a surgical procedure that primarily treats a condition called hydrocephalus. This condition occurs when excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collects in the brain’s ventricles.

I’m not a person who panicks or overly stresses, but this disturbed me. The fact that my son had been injured, and all of this could have been avoided by  whomever the culprit was, simply telling me. Anywho, I agreed to the procedure. I was not at all happy about my baby being sedated and cut again, but his overall well being was the at risk.  The neurosurgeon informed me of how my son may need the shunt for the rest of his life, and may not be able to participate in sports because of it. I was saddened to know that there was a possibility he wouldn’t be able to participate in things because of his condition.

  Throughout it all, my son was always happy.   

Again surgery went well. We stayed in PICU, a couple weeks longer. My son began physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as a result of the surgery he lost most of his developmental milestones. That’s what took the greatest toll on me. As parents, we can’t wait for our children to meet milestones, as it is a sign of their growth. I was pissed and hurt that we pretty much had to start over.

Once discharged, we of course had to see the neurosurgeon for outpatient check ups. A few days before his first checkup my son began to have a twitch, which I soon learned were actually partial seizures. At his appointment, he had an episode. The ticking was so minor that the neurosurgeon didn’t think it was much to be up in arms about. It wasn’t until my little man had a checkup with his neurologist, that they concluded they were partial seizures. This was fixed with medication and another surgery for drainage purposes.

Everything was looking better, he was getting his therapies and making improvements. Then one day at a physical therapy appointment, he vomitted on the therapist, and had to be rushed to the hospital. Because of the shunt, anytime he vomitted, he had to go to the ER. This go round I was told he had a fresh bleed on his brain. Now I’m panicking! It seemed as if we couldn’t catch a break. They monitor him of course, and his neurosurgeon comes up with a new plan to drain the excess fluid. They get the excess off his brain without having to resort to surgery, which was my greatest fear, another surgery. Once discharged this time, things began to look better quickly. EXCEPT for the fact that I was terminated from my job because of my attendance. That did not bother me in the slightest. If I had to choose work or my children, my children easily come first.

To eliminate having to schedule 3 therapies weekly, I placed my son in a daycare for medically fragile children. I looked for a job, went on interviews, and never seemed to be hired. This pushed me to find ways to generate income using my talents. I did pretty well for me and my children. There were good days and there were bad days, but that’s life. My son continued to make great strides in his development. The staff at his daycare were so very helpful, and I am forever grateful to them. Everything in our world had improved, and then…

On an October morning while working out, I receive a phone call from his daycare. They were concerned about his shunt, although he showed no signs of anything being wrong. I rushed him over to the ER. They examined him, took images of his head to see was the shunt functioning properly. GUESS WHAT?!?! His neurosurgeon found that there was no longer any need for the shunt and scheduled him for surgery to have it removed. This was a moment I thought wouldn’t come until some years down the line. I was so happy! My son thought my excitement was funny. Everything went well. He continued on at the daycare, and receiving his therapies. It seemed as if after the shunt was removed, his speech improved drastically. Shortly after that,  he began walking. That was a moment that brought tears to my eyes.

Everything he had acheived in these few short months did not come easily. There were nights when we were going over activities the therapists gave us to do, and I could see how sometimes he wanted to give up. I could’ve easily gotten frustrated, but I pushed him and myself to get through it. Yes, I wanted to swoop in and hug him, kiss him, and not continue with the activities, but I knew that would not have been beneficial to him, at all. There were times I tried to shelter him from certain activities because I kept thinking “what if he hurts himself”. I had to let him be a child, test boundaries, become self aware.  Those are things we have to let every child do, in order for them to become productive citizens of the world.

In the beginning I used to wonder why this happened to my child, but then I changed that to why not my child. This proved to me that no matter how much you vet a person or facility, things happen. Now I know things do in fact happen, but do NOT neglect to inform parents/guardians about what happened. As a parent I can respect a situation far better if you are upfront about it. Yes, I would have been mad at the incident, but I would’ve gotten over it. I don’t exactly hold a grudge now, but I occasionally become flustered when I think about it all. I am thankful for my sons, and glad that we can put all of this behind us. It took a toll on every member of my family.   With all of this said, I am not sure why it happened to us, but it did. I used to feel like it would not help anyone if I spoke about it, but now I’ll use any platform given to me. Parents please take your children to their respective checkups. Taking my son to his checkups on time was the only way we caught the injury, because he showed no signs.

This entire incident pushed me to think outside of the box when it came to generating income. I’ve come into contact with many mothers, and I have learned that we all struggle with figuring motherhood out. If we would stop trying to hide our struggles and openly discuss them, we can get the help needed. No matter how much help you do or do not have, being a mom is a journey. You discover so much about yourself. Be a fearless mama!  None of us have it totally figured out. Anything that you’ve been through, let it be a message to others. These are the things that make us who we are, none of us are the same. This is only a piece of our story, and I am open to answering any questions anyone may have. I just want to inspire people. I’ll leave you with a video that makes my heart smile every time I watch it.

To my oldest son, mommy loves you for being the brave, outspoken, wonderful big brother that you are. To my baby boy, mommy loves you for being the resilient, fearless, warrior that you are.

****UPDATE****

Here it is July 2017. My kiddo is now 3 years old and oh so amazing. I had actually forgotten about this blog post until I came across photos of him, as an infant, before he was injured.

My little man has become the epitome of what most of us think little boys are. He runs, jumps, fights, and eats EVERYTHING in sight.

Whenever people hear him speak, they’re surprised to learn that he’s only 3. We always get “he speaks so well for a 3-year old”. People truly don’t understand how happy that makes me. It affirms that all the work that was put into getting him back on track was not in vain.

I’ve spent this summer preparing my threenager for daycare/preschool, YIKES, as he has to go, now that I’ll be substitute teaching this upcoming school year, until I finish my Masters program. He’ll be in school with big brother next year, and big bro is excited about that.

My journey with my son has taught me that consistency is key. Stay consistent and you can achieve anything.

THANKS FOR READING!!