Pieces of your Story- Aniston Lynn

View More: http://ae.pass.us/mandy-1July 31, 2014 came and went with no baby. How could I possibly go over my due date with baby number three? I had planned on having you all natural so the thought of induction scared me silly. So we continued our normal daily activities, and added in a few more strenuous ones to try and evict you.

We went on long fast walks, played multiple games of frisbee golf, we even ventured to mommy’s family reunion where I stayed on the bouncy boat all day long. Still nothing. You were comfy just where you were and nothing I did was going to change that. So the doctor decided that instead of waiting any longer it was time to get you out. (Your brother Cohen was 10 days over due and we were not going to do that again)

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We chose Monday, August 4 to be your induction day. Daddy was nervous because he was head coach of Cohen’s football team and had his first practice that night all the way in Danville. He begged me to pick another day, but this was the day my doctor was on call, and this was the day that just felt right. I joking assured him that I would have you out by noon, giving him plenty of time to spend with you before he had to leave for practice. (Yes you can tease him about this your whole life!) So early monday morning at 7 a.m. we showed up at the hospital.

By 7:30 they had me all hooked up and had the pitocin flowing….yikes! It was written in my birth plan NO MEDS but I hadn’t planned on pitocin. I remember saying do you have to keep turning that up? Every half hour the nurse came in and inevitably worsened my pain. Around 9 it was time to break my water. Whew, that’s always a funny feeling, and a feeling of wow this is real. In no time at all I will be holding my baby. Now we just wait on the contractions to roll in hard and strong. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was plaing on the t.v., Your dad, mamaw, papaw, and grandma Becky were in the room with me trying to take my mind off the pain.

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Mommy’s friend Abbey who is a doula was trying to be there for your birth. She had coached me many times on delivery day and given me some different position ideas to lessen the pain. Unfortunately she was in Chicago that day training and couldn’t actually be at the hospital. She was sending me texts the whole way through to try and get me to relax. As we were approaching 10:30 I was starting to question my “no meds” decision.

With all that was going on, the thing that irritated me the most was the heart rate monitor that they screwed into the top of your head. I know that sounded awful to me too, but the nurse said it was the best way to monitor your heart and for me to still be able to move around. I just kept feeling like if I moved too much I could rip it out of your precious little head so all of my movements were slow and calculated.  Actually I was afraid to make many moves because each contraction was getting worse and worse. I had thought about getting in the water, but at this point I decided to just stick it out on the bed. I really couldn’t see how I was going to walk from the bed to the tub. The thought of a contraction mid transition kept me right where I was.

11:00 a.m. the top part of the bed was raised almost 90 degrees. I was on my knees biting the sheets. Every time a contraction came, which was about every 2-3 minutes daddy would push on my hips to try and relieve some of the pressure. The comical part of it all is that the Fresh Prince was still in the back ground and I could hear that someone was having a baby on the show. Man the movies make it out to be so different. I was now in survival mode, or as the nurse calls it I had transitioned. She was feeding me ice chips and softly whispering to me how good I was doing. She was an angel. I had such an awesome nurse. She coached me through the whole natural birth and I’m so grateful for her!

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I can’t do it, I feel like I’m being suffocated, like someone is ripping out my insides, I can’t do this. Daddy was scared. Everyone in the room was praying. Why did I put myself through a no medicine birth again? I wanted the room to be calm. They told me I could scream through the pain, but what good would that do? It would just suck the little energy I had left out of me. So I was silent. With each contraction I would beg to push. I know the nurse was nervous to check my progress, afraid that I was still a ways away from what I was begging for. But a mother knows. I needed to push. I need to know there was an end to all this pain. Angie reluctantly checked me and what do you know, call in the doctor it’s time to push!!

Meanwhile Mommy’s friend Ashley was on her way to photograph you. I could not of prepared myself for the kind of pain I was in during the last hour of contractions. Ashley was coming from an hour away, and I figured I could just hold out till she got there. Um no! I love capturing the perfect photos almost more than anyone, but at this point even if someone was dangling a million dollars in front of me I couldn’t of stopped what was inevitably happening. So there was Ashley in the waiting room, saying she was my cousin trying to get back to me in time with no such luck. I was in the zone. My brain literally zeroed in and I felt almost blind. I couldn’t turn side to side. I couldn’t focus on anything but the doctor’s voice. When the next contraction came I pushed real hard, oh yep the ring of fire is a real thing, and out you came. That was it, one push. Well you would think I should know how to push by now right?! Thank God for that, because by this point I couldn’t of done the whole push for and hour thing. Mamaw shouted out, “honey look it’s 11:59”. I did it, I had you before noon just like I had promised daddy. Your real birth time was 11:58. We did it!View More: http://ae.pass.us/mandy-1 View More: http://ae.pass.us/mandy-1

They handed you to me, you were so beautiful, so different than I pictured, but so dainty and precious. You had a full head of dark hair. None of my babies had hair before. You had perfect little lips and pretty nail beds. You sort of looked like daddy. Which was weird for me to see my little girl look like the boy I love. The nurses finally let Ashley back, and she got to capture some of our first moments together. How was I so blessed to have a healthy baby girl? What a miracle you are. God created you and knit you in my womb, and now I was holding you.View More: http://ae.pass.us/mandy-1 View More: http://ae.pass.us/mandy-1

7lbs 4 oz 20 inches long. Born 4 days late, on a monday, before noon. Just little details that make up your special day. Your grandma’s got to be there to see you just as you were born. Your mommy did it without medicine and was now able to walk around and enjoy you just like if we were at home. Seriously, about 10 minutes after you were born I unwound my hair from the messy top knot it was in and it was like nothing had happened. Now all that was left was to start enjoying baby snuggles. I looked over and the nurse was giving you your first bath. She had you propped up with your chin in her hand. You looked like a little puppy. She began to brush your hair gently and you stopped crying and almost fell asleep. She was humming and brushing and then tied the perfect pink ribbon in your long dark hair. I had a girl. I HAD A GIRL! As I watched you get that first pink ribbon tied in your hair my mind was fluttering with thoughts of doing your hair for the next 15+ years. How doing your hair would be our time. Our time to talk, our time to fight, our time to be creative. My heart can’t even fathom the love that I have for you already. Then the nurse brought you over and I watched your daddy, who wore a pink shirt that day just for you, hold a little bundle with a pink ribbon and I lost it. Our lives are forever changed and our journey of parenting will never be the same. Now there is just one thing left to do……

Meet the brothers!

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Summer beauty musts

Summertime means heat waves, cutoff shorts, glowy skin, and minimal makeup. While I might be wearing less makeup over the the next few months I am still very strategic about the products I choose. Here is a list of my summer survival essentials.

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1. Chanel CC cream. The most important thing during these extra hot months is finding a good spf. Protecting your skin is the first step to flawless complexion. Chanel recently reformulated their CC cream to offer more of a variety of shades and with an spf 50 built in you are sure to  fall head over heels for this luxury product. 9ef001a6c7e5a5e3764c8d260f348b20

2. Nars dual intensity blushes. Each color duo screams summertime. Some are vibrant, some are glowy, and all of them can be worn wet or dry. Wet your brush and wash a light tint of color on the apple of your cheeks for a natural sunkissed look.

3. Trish McEvoy eyeshadow base. The consistency of this product is pure genius. It goes on creamy and turns chalky on the skin. Once applied your lids will be clean and bright, the perfect pallet to enhance eyeshadow. I own a couple different shades and many times I don’t even feel the need to put any eyeshadow over it. My favorite color is Bare.

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4. NYX go to pallet. Shade wonderlust. This is your grab and go makeup kit. Six great shadows, illuminator, blush, and bronzer in the perfect summery shades.

5. Maybelline Volum Express the Falsies waterproof mascara. No more worrying about sweeting off your mascara under your sunnies. Your lashes will look flawless all day long.

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6. YSL Rouge Pur couture Glossy stain. I am so captivated by this product. Even the lightest shades stay fresh looking on my lips all day long. These are not your typical stains. These one of a kind lip glosses keep your lips shiny and your color on point all day long.

xo

Mandy

Patriotic favs

It’s no secret that I love getting festive, and the fourth of July is one of my favorites. Here are some of the things we are shopping for to make our holiday extra special.

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Rompers!!!! I love rompers. These three are phenomenal. Liboosha has not released hers yet, so be on the lookout, Bloom and Beetle is down to only a few left, and time is quickly running out for the Sadie then Ty piece. Hurry, handmade is always best, but it does take time! This Liboosha sunsuit is also a cute option.

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Half Pint Kid knee high socks! Ah I just love the look of chubby little legs in tall socks. On June 15th they are also releasing socks with tiny blue stars. Check it out!

il_570xN.769364189_b42g  There are so many adorable head pieces out there, but I’ve always LOVED little kate designs. This leather headband is no exception. Spend $30 and get 25% off with code little25.

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Hello Apparel. Need I say more? This is your one stop shop for all things festive. They even have dog shirts!!!

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Gender neutral bitty bracelets. Add a little patriotic flare to any outfit with these stretchy bracelets. A mix of wooden and vintage beads you are sure to love!! Buy them separately or as a set.

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Camplight Apparel. How cute is this tank for your little miss or mr. Independent?!

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Andy Sachs head wraps are my favorite!! They make personalized ones that are to die for. While it’s too late to order their flag print, there are other cute prints that would be perfect for the 4th. And the quality is just soooo good!!

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Starry Knight Designs liberty leaf moccasins and matching leather headband. These are just so cute, and so comfy. Aniston loves wearing moccasins and I love that they never fall off.

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Tribe is Alive. This shirt is such a great summer staple. A must have in my opinion!

All of the products on this list are unique and hand made. Shopping handmade is a choice that I consciously make. I want to support other hard working moms and keep my business in the U.S. What a better way to celebrate our country’s independence then by shopping made in the U.S.A.!!!! Happy shopping, and don’t be shy to pull the trigger, hand made items do take longer receive.

xo

Mandy

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Aniston’s Nursery

Designing a space for your new little one has to be one of the most fun jobs ever. I’d keep on having kids just to name them and decorate their rooms (I’m kidding….kind of). Before I even knew the gender, I knew I wanted this room to be the happiest spot in the whole house. I wanted a place where I could sit and imagine our baby before he/she was even born. A place where I could retreat to on the long sleepless nights. The fact that we were pregnant with a girl was just the icing on the cake. That meant I got to incorporate the colors and knick knacks that I favor. Her room really is an accumulation of all of my favorite things. I am so excited to share it with all of you! My good friend and photographer Ashley did a great job of capturing the way it really feels to be in Aniston’s room. The bright sunshine, the pastel colors, and all the little details. I will cherish these photos forever. Opening up Aniston’s room to all of you is like opening up a piece of my heart. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!

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Shelves:Ikea, Changing pad cover:Aden & Anais, Felt Balls:Hello Maypole, Branch:A sycamore tree from my back yard, Piggy bank:Hobby Lobby, Candle:Bond no 9, Flower pots: West Elm, Prints: Rifle Paper co and Kelli Murray, Diaper cream: Mustela, Mermaid doll: Bitsy Mermaid, Name blanket: Jennifer Ann, Moccasins:freshlypicked

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Aniston’s Outfit:baby gap, Mandy’s outfit:free people, Wooden phone:bannor toys, Mermaid doll:bitsy mermaid Gumball machine:vintage

 

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Prints:rifle paper company/charm and gumption/holly pop designs, Flower pots:west elm, Metal A:hobby lobby, Wall Hanging:diy project, Bedding:Donna Karan (similar), Throw pillow:Little Wife Power House, Lamp:Threshold for Target (similar), Wooden sheep:Plan toys, Aniston’s outfit: Breelyn’s Rose

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Doll: Little Missy bell, Dress: Little Miss Mae, Morrocan pouf:Bazarberber, Grey Muslin blanket: Sweetmama makes, Baby wrap: Solly baby, Table:threshold for Target (similar), Cloud book holder:Ikea, Book:baby lit books

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Rocker:pottery barn, Aniston’s outfit: Little Miss Mae, Bow: Janie and Jack, Mandy’s outift:free people, Fringe Mobil:diy project- Tissue paper bought from Paper Source, Shape sorter:babies R us, Ostrich: Anthropologie, Diapers:Honest company, Bunting: Starlitnest

 

I had a lot of fun with Aniston’s room, and so many of the details were projects that I did myself. I tagged as many things as I could, but if you have other questions feel free to leave a comment below and I will try and answer you as best I can!

xo

Mandy

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matte shadow lover

1I recently noticed how many obscure matte shadows I had in my makeup bag. I love them because they change up my everyday makeup look with one little swipe of color.  I figured I could not be alone in my mad love for matte eye shadow so I decided to share my list with you all. So here it is, my list of very high pigmented matte shadows.

 

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M.A.C.- Dirty Martini, Yogurt, and Blackberry

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Chanel- Rose De Mai, Slate, Hasard

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Laura Mercier- Cashmere and Ginger

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NYX- Blame it on midnight

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Wet n Wild- Creme Brulee

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Bobbi Brown- Antique Rose, Heather, Toast, Cool Ivory, and Shell

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Matte shadow colors allow you to blend and make muted smokey looks with ease. They also mix well with shimmery shadows. I use multiple matte shadows in every single make over I do, and as you can see they are what the majority of my makeup bag is filled with. 2

All of the shadows listed are very high pigmented. Head to your nearest department store to see for yourself! Some of these are absolute must haves!!

Im always looking to add more to my list. What are some of your favorites?!

xo

Mandy

Spring Beauty Trends

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By now spring is well underway. Hopefully the warm weather has made it’s way to you and you are fully indulging in the season. Along with warmer temps and floral patterns comes spring makeup! It can be overwhelming to walk into a beauty store ill prepared so I’m here to guide you a bit. Give you a quick list of the latest trends, plus share a few of my favs with you. Oh and for you make up novices out there, don’t fret one of the trends is “minimalist”.

According to Harpers Bazaar the cosmetic trends from the runway are fine lines, flaming lips, brown eyed girls, flash of color, bare minimum, purple haze, smoke show, and bronze age. So not just your typical glowy bronzed skin, soft lips, and wispy lashes. Some of these techniques are a little out there, but can be modified. Once you read up on them you will start to subtly see them everywhere!7502a53e52bf80e36f0cbcfad92fd698

Fine Lines- This is referencing eye liner techniques. While I love a striking thick line or a cat eye from time to time my new favorite way of lining is called tight lining. This is when you focus the color on the upper underneath root of your lashes (I definitely need to do a video on this in the near future). While most days I stick to black I’ve been playing around with deep purples, navy, and emerald for an added pop. Go to product for tight lining is Chanel’s stylo yeux waterproof crayon. It comes is countless colors so think outside of the box, and it’s waterproof so it will stay put all day! A comparable cost efficient product would be Revlon’s color stay eyeliner3af23983e8c2c4ddef9df6aff21ad3ec

Flaming lips- Bring on the color baby! There is just something about the warm weather and the end of winter that makes me want to pull out my corals and bright pinks. However, I have to ask myself where am I going?! Oh yeah it’s just me and the kids all day every day ha! So save the bold lips for date night (if your husband is into that kind of thing) and incorporate the trend by wearing springy sheers. Dior Addict lip glow is genius. It’s a reviving lip balm that slowly turns your lips a very natural shade of pink or coral. Another option is Sephora’s color reveal lip balm in pink, or e.l.f. lip stain.

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Brown eyed girls- Neutral shadows. You may have seen some of the cosmetic spring launches and thought the models were hardly wearing any eye makeup. Thats because a lot of spring trends are all about the nudes. Nars spring line even muted out the lips for a completely washed out look that was still somehow stunning. My go to’s in this category are nude pallets such as Urban Decay Naked or Maybeline The Nudes. When playing with the colors try a smokey brown look for a change. It might quickly become a favorite.

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Flash of color- When I see this trend it tends to be played up by funky eyeshadows.  While this looks great on the runway, it’s not realistic in mommy world. I like to pop my color on my cheeks. Have you ever really played with blush?! There are so many great colors out there that can change up your look in a snap. Nars just came out with a dual intensity blush that can be used wet or dry. They can easily be made sheer or bold with different applications. Honestly you just have to check out all of Nars blushes. Once you try one you are going to want to start a whole blush wardrobe, trust me! Dupe is e.l.f. cosmetics blushes9ef001a6c7e5a5e3764c8d260f348b20

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Bare Minimum- Can I get an Amen?!? Finally the tired mom look is a trend ha! Okay okay what this really means is how can you apply your makeup in a way that makes you look like you aren’t wearing makeup. Tricky eh?! To me the biggest key to this is eyebrows. If you groom and pencil in your brows you will instantly look more put together. So start there. I like Dior’s universal brow styler, IT cosmetics universal brow, Chanel brow pencils, Laura Mercier’s brow powder, Anastasia’s brow pomade (for intense brows), and Sonia Kashuk brow kit.

The second part of this is foundation. Now again this is a subject that requires it’s own blog post, but a product that I wear everyday (usually on top of another foundation, but can also be worn alone) is Chanel’s hydrating Le Beige powder. I use this mostly as a bronzing powder, but thats only because I purchased mine two shades up from my natural color for that purpose. A hydrating powder is very unique, and this particular one has spf in it. Using this product is like wearing the best instagram filter around all day. Check out Maybeline’s Fit me foundation for a similar look.

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Purple Haze- Yes purple always seems to be popular in the spring. We find Lavender everywhere! But have you tried it on your eyes? Try smudging your favorite purple shade underneath the eye for a touch of daytime smokey. If purple just isn’t your thing try tight lining with a plum pencil, or tipping the lashes with purple mascara.

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Smoke Show- The blacker the better this season. Usually I’m teaching clients how to do a “natural smokey”, but this season we go bold. The easiest way I have found to achieve this look is by taking a soft black pencil and smudging it all over the lid first. This creates a smokey base to start with. Next wet your brush and dip it into black shadow. Simply press the color onto the lid and let dry. Finish off by rimming the eyes with deep black liner and multiple coats of mascara. Pair up with a pale nude lip. Plus this355997bf77d01083379139129eeadf3anars-illuminator

Bronze Age- Illuminators and conturing. First drastically contour the skin then watch it blend in as you apply the rest of your makeup. i like Kat von D’s contouring kit and Nars Ita brush. I promise to do a video on this soon too. I’ve also heard great review on the Anastasia Beverly Hills kit.  If you like sticks try Nars matte multiple or NYX wonder stick.  NYX also makes a great illuminator that compares to the Nars illuminators. Both great products to give your skin an added Island glow.

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Who’s excited to play in their makeup bag during nap time?! Hopefully this list gives you a starting point and helps you know which products you may need to purchase. I find that trying one new makeup trick each day excites me and actually makes me want to get ready. Taking a little extra time while getting ready will give you an added boost of confidence guaranteed!

xoxo

Mandy

*images via Pinterest and Harpers Bazaar

Clarins- Not your grandma’s makeup

Have you heard of Inspo?! It’s a site designed to bring women together in a positive way. I find daily encouragement through their insta feed and blog, and so many tips and tricks to make mom life easier. I just so happen to be the beauty contributor for them, and here is my latest piece. Read the full version over on Inspo!!!

 

A brand that I feel gets totally overlooked by younger women is Clarins. While they aren’t known to be a color line there are so many other great products! Let’s just say this counter is a hidden gem. For starters their vast skincare line has been around since the 50’s and is all plant based. In 1954 Clarins started as a beauty institute in Paris with prestigious spas all over the world that still remain today. You may feel overwhelmed when stepping up to the counter because they literally have a cream or serum for everything! Any beauty stylist could point you in the right direction, but I am going to list out a few of my favorite things which just so happen to be perfect items for spring!

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1. The self tanners!!!!!!!! I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about these. Clarins is by far the most advanced in sunless tanning. They have creams, gels, face and body, just face, just legs, you name it they have it! Plus the best sunscreen,  spf lip balms, and after sun care. Check out the new Radiance plus- Golden glow booster. 365 days of summer in a bottle. Only $30 for the face and $45 for body.

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