French Tips & Glitter

IMG_20130530_210825_272Let me start off by saying that this is the first time I’ve ever attempted painting white tips and I must say I think I was born for this! I used a plain white polish (2 coats) and painted half of all my nails white. I then used a q-tip in a circular motion to create in arch for the tips by removing the excess polish with polish remover. Afterwards, I painted 2 coats of blue glitter polish underneath the tips and finished with a clear top coat. Aren’t they glamorous?!

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Gradient Rainbow Accent Nails

Here is yet another one of my late posts. Sorry for being so behind with my blogging schedule. Things are a lot different with a baby in the picture. (:
I usually get my nail art inspiration from online photos and samples. However this design came 100% out of MY imagination and I think they turned out quite amazing, especially this being my very first time attempting gradient nail art. I used neon rainbow colors for the accent nails, three on each. I made the effect by painting a strip of each color next to each other on a sticky note, then used a makeup sponge to dab onto the paper and then onto my nail. I had to repeat this process about 4 times to get the color to show up real good. I also painted the nails white FIRST so that the color would show at its brightest. The rest of the nails I painted black to match the zebra print stripes color that I used my nail art polish to draw. Here’s the final project:

IMG_20130428_152412_837 IMG_20130428_152513_641I will post a tutorial later on. But if you can’t wait for it, simply go online to Youtube.com and search “gradient nails how to”. Millions of tutorial videos will pop up for you to watch and learn for yourself. (:

My First Mother’s Day

102Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mom’s out there! But especially to my mom because I wouldn’t be who I am today without her ♥
096This is my very first Mother’s Day and I must say it was nothing short of amazing. I woke up to a bunch of mothers day wishes from several of my facebook friends. Jacob completely surprised my mom and I by coming to our house in Lake City all the way from Jacksonville with flowers and cards for each of us. I was so happy to see him and to get the biggest bouquet of flowers EVER in my life! IMG_20130512_135333He gave my mom beautiful peach tulips that open during the day and close at night. We got dressed up a little bit and took some picture. My mom made a delicious shrimp sauce over white rice for our special dinner and I made cream cheese pull apart monkey bread or dessert. Also, we finally opened Jacobs beer cake and had a couple drinks. It was the first alcoholic beverage I’ve had in over a year which I’m proud to say, so a couple is all I needed. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way to spend my first mother’s day. Especially because I didn’t expect anything on this holiday.

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Excuse the “ghetto” baking dish. I had to improvise. (:

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Trendy Braids <3

Here are my latest Hair Styles that I’ve been trying to get into! All inspired by Pinterest. (:

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The Bohemian Braid.

My First French Braided Sock Bun.

My First French Braided Sock Bun.

My French Braided Curly Pony Tail.

My French Braided Curly Pony Tail.

The Literal "Hair Bow" Bun.

The Literal “Hair Bow” Bun.

French Braided Hair Bow. *My Favorite <3

French Braided Hair Bow. *My Favorite ❤

My French Braided Braid. (:

My French Braided Braid. (:

My Labor Experience

Well here’s the post everyone’s been waiting for. I’m going to start from the very beginning:

At 41 weeks, Jacob and I started doing everything, literally EVERYTHING, to induce my labor. From eating spicy food, going on bumpy rides every single day, walking until my feet felt like they would fall off (BTW I didn’t swell during my entire pregnancy because I drank plenty of water), doing the dirty, acupressure, massages, bananas, yoga, stripping my membranes (twice!), whatever you can think of, we did it, and NOTHING WORKED. So my conclusion on inducing labor based on my personal experience is that nothing can induce labor, your baby comes whenever he/she decides to come.

I was scheduled to be induced Monday morning, and as much as I was opting not to be induced, I was going to let them because one, it would be safer for the baby not to exceed 42 weeks in utero, and two I would be more than ready at that point for Natalia to be here. Fortunately my water finally broke the Friday afternoon prior to my induction date. At first I wasn’t sure if it broke or not, so I asked my mom what it felt like. She said it feels like you’re uncontrollably peeing on yourself. Soon after that, about 15 minutes, I was confirmed of my water breaking because liquid started pouring out, lol. I didn’t call the Doctor nor did I go to the hospital. I waited until I started having contractions 5-10 apart for an hour like my doctors instructed, which didn’t happen until 18 hours later. Bad idea for me to not go in right away because of the risk of infection, but how was I supposed to know? This is my first time having a baby, and BOTH of my GYN’s told me not to come in until I started having contractions. There was no mention of my water breaking. And since I’m totally healthy, I didn’t think there was any reason for me or my baby to develop an “infection”. According to what I researched, the vaginal exams are what cause infections in the first place, which makes complete sense to me.

So the next morning around 6am I started having mild contractions, then they increased in pain and decreased in time apart, so by 8 am Jacob and I were on our way to the hospital. When we got there the nurses asked me if my water broke & I told them yes it did, yesterday afternoon. They all looked at me like I was crazy and asked why I waited so long to come in. I told them that I didn’t feel the need to come in because everything seemed fine and that my Doctor told me not to come in until I was having contractions, so I was simply following instructions. Well, when they started my IV they told me they were going to start me on antibiotics. In shock I asked “for what?” And the nurse said “the GBS that you’re positive for”. I was in total disbelief and said “excuse me, but what in the world are you talking about?” She explained to me that I was positive for Group B Strep, (the test they give you when you’re 36 weeks) and that the baby has been swimming in infected amniotic fluid for the entire time since my water broke. GBS (Group B Strep) is a bacteria that is carried by both men and women, that does not affect adults but can be very harmful for unborn babies, which is why pregnant women ate tested for it at 36 weeks. Men will never know if they have it or not because they will never be tested for it since they obviously can’t get pregnant. Well when I took the test, nothing was ever mentioned about it after that, so I assumed I was negative. I would expect a Doctor to tell you the results of your tests, ESPECIALLY if you’re positive for it, don’t you?! So yeah, I was carrying this infection and had no idea about it. I was infuriated by this new found information because now my baby is at risk. If I would’ve known about this infection, I would’ve been at the hospital the day before when my water broke.

Anyways, once your water breaks you have 24 hours to get the baby out or it can become something serious. So I had 6 hours to deliver my daughter and I was only 2 cm dilated (and have been for two weeks!). They started me on pitocin right away. 2 hours later they checked my cervix to find that I was still only 2 cm dilated, so a c-section was the final decision. At first I wanted to cry because I felt cheated out of my wanting for a natural delivery since I was never informed about this infection that could be potentially fatal to my unborn daughter. I also was not so phsyched about having such a dramatic surgery, especially since I’ve never had surgery of any kind. I asked the nurses if they had c-sections and even asked if I could see their scars because I also wasn’t very excited about having such a large scar on my belly. One of the young nurses showed me not her scar because it was so low, but pulled her shirt up just to show me that the scar was below her panty line. I couldn’t even see it! And she was so skinny you wouldn’t even be able to tell that she had a baby, and she had 2! So that made me feel A LOT better about it. So on we went with the procedure.

They had me fill out all kinds of forms and explained to Jacob and I what would be happening. He had to change into scrubs so he could be there with me while the doctors carried me into the operation room so they could numb me from the waist down. They gave me a spinal anesthetic that literally took 5 seconds to kick in. I felt a rush of a numbing sensation that actually felt really good, lol! I felt very shaky though shortly afterwards which I didn’t like too much. Also, the shot they gave me was a MUCH smaller needle than that of the epidural, which I was very happy about because that was the very reason I had decided I wasn’t going to have an epidural if this would’ve happened naturally.

They cut me open and tugged, pushed and pulled (which I could feel a lot of although it didn’t hurt, it was just a lot of pressure) and then out came the baby, 7lbs. and 14oz. of her. About a minute later I heard her first cry and was in tears at the amazing sound that I had waited 9 long months to hear. Jacob cried with me and we were both very happy. However, because she was infected, they took her from us right away. I got to see her and kiss her cheek before she left and dad asked to see her hair because she was wearing a cap. When they took it off, we were amazed to see a head full of dark hair, just like I dreamed about!

So they took me to the recovery room while we waited to hear from the doctor’s what was going on with Natalia. Now there are a lot of details to what was happening between the surgery and the end, so I’m just going to make the long story short: The doctors were concerned about her breathing patterns. They ran blood tests and white blood cell tests which came back triple the amount of what was normal, meaning that her body was already building white blood cells to fight off whatever infection she had. They were also concerned about some “seizure-like episodes” that she was supposedly having which made the nurses decide to transfer her to Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville because they were a small town hospital that did not have all the tools needed to run the tests they wanted her to have. They weren’t sure what she was doing because she’s a  newborn, hence their wanting to run tests just to make sure she was acting normal. I was completely devastated because the doctors made it seem like she was having all these problems, they even mentioned a possibility of meningitis. I cried so hard and asked “what are they going to do to my baby?!” Jacob tried his hardest to keep his composure because I was so upset about everything and then he broke down and started crying with me.

Natalia went through so much in the first days of her life in the outside world. She IV’s since she was born, she had all kinds of tests run on her, she had MRI’s she had her spine tapped, all kinds of bullshit. I know that they were just trying to be on the safe side, but what new mom wants to see her first baby go through all this trauma?! Anyways, in the end Natalia was completely fine. They ran all these tests just to find nothing wrong with her. She just had an infection and the antibiotics they started me on before the surgery killed it just in time. So we went through all this heartache for nothing. It was very crazy. We ended up being in the hospital for 5 days before finally bringing her home.I was in the hospital for 3 days recovering from the surgery. They transferred Natalia on my second day of recovery so I couldn’t even go to the hospital to be with my baby until the next day. Jacob had to drive from Lake City to Jacksonville, back to Lake City to pick me up, back to Jacksonville so we could be at the hospital every day and then finally back to Lake City so we could come home, and then he had to drive back so he could go home, lol! Lots and lots of driving.

At the end of the day, there were a lot of lessons learned from this entire experience. Although it was scary, it was very worth it and I am happy to say that I am a new mom to a very happy and healthy baby girl. According to her pediatrician she eats better than the average baby for her size and is growing at a great rate. She is such a good baby, hardly ever cries unless she needs something. She is always very content and has such a well-developed personality already. She’s definitely mommy and daddy’s little diva girl!

I also would like to mention that my perspective about c-sections have dramatically changed since I underwent the surgery. I actually prefer to have the c-section because I didn’t have to feel any pain WHATSOEVER, everything went by so quick it was unbelievable. The entire procedure took a total of 55 minutes. No contractions, no pain, GREAT pain meds during and afterwards lol, and my little girls head did not get squished and my vagina didn’t rip! The scar is barely noticeable, looks like a pen line just below my bikini line and nobody will ever be able to see it unless I show them, which means I can still wear my bikini this summer! Best of all, this entire event brought me and Jacob closer together and he loves me more now than ever before since having to be there with me and watching me go through all of this craziness. I definitely want to share my story because I think it’s well worth mentioning to people. Always prepare for the worst because you never know what’s going to happen, and always be optimistic about negative things that you have no control over because they are not always as bad as they seem.

Today my baby girl is 2 weeks and 3 days old and she is making the cutest “ooh” and “ahh” sounds, she picks her head up all by herself to look around because she wants to see everything, she will NOT fall asleep without being held, so she’s already spoiled, lol! (Thanks Jacob!)

One more thing I want to add before I conclude my super long birth story; because Natalia was taken from me right from the beginning, we didn’t get to experience the first bonding of mother and baby to establish breastfeeding, which is essential! And I am completely against giving my baby formula for several reasons. One because I’m pro-natural, two because I don’t feel that formula gives babies everything they need like breast milk does, three because of all the side effects that come from formula fed babies that I’ve researched, such as being more prone to obesity and becoming sick with diseases, and four because although the formula feeds the baby for longer periods of time (formula fed babies eat 6-10 times a day vs. breastfed babies eat 8-12 times a day) which means the formula “sits” in their stomachs and that just reminds me of McDonald’s food which is totally gross in my opinion. I already decided I wanted to breastfeed exclusively. Well since I didn’t get to breastfeed for the first week, I didn’t establish a good milk supply, so I couldn’t produce enough milk to feed my baby. Not only that but the doctors shoved bottles and pacifiers in my newborn baby’s mouth which pissed me the **** off! If they needed to syringe feed her then okay, but I was not about the pacifiers or bottles because of nipple confusion. So Natalia had a difficult time latching on for the first week and a half of our being together. It was making me sore and I was to the point where I was about to just give up all together. But then I decided “screw that!” I’m not going to give up because I WANT this for my baby, so I’m going to MAKE SURE it happens, no matter what it takes. If I have to breastfeed her every half hour then so be it. I consulted with a lactation specialist who was so inspired by my determination and told me that that’s what it takes, you have to really want to breastfeed for it to work out, which is what I truly want, exclusively. I only will use formula if I have to supplement, but otherwise I want to strictly breastfeed my baby mostly because it’s the healthiest for her, but also because it does establish a bonding relationship with you and your baby that just feels like pure love, and I want that with me and Natalia. So I have a $700 hospital grade breast pump that I’m using FOR FREE for a week-2 weeks just because my lactation specialist wants to help me because she sees how bad I want this. Unfortunately Natalia and I had a rough start, but now that things are back to normal we are going to work this out to both of our benefits. My advice to anybody else out there with this problem is to never give up on the things that you truly want. I am proud to say that Natalia has gotten MUCH better about latching on (although she still needs some improvement) and I am finally being able to produce enough milk to catch up with her needs. (:

Bringing Natalia Home <3

Bringing Natalia Home ❤

Natalia & I Now (:

Natalia & I Now (:

My First Cake Made From Scratch

While skimming through my WordPress reader, I came across this delicious looking cake that I bookmarked in my dessert recipes folder because it looked amazing. The recipe tells you how to make it from scratch using ingredients that I already had in my kitchen. So I pinned it, printed out the recipe, and decided that I was going to make dessert tonight. It is definitely not something I can handle eating every day because it uses so much sugar, but for those sugar rush cravings I have, this is the perfect fix. And just so you know, the batter was so delicious I swear I could’ve ate it by itself! This is by far better than anything you could ever buy prepackaged.

Where you can find the recipe: http://theweekly52.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/white-cake-success/

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Cinnamon Banana Bread – My First Baking Experience

Okay, I’ve never really baked any kind of sweet dish other than a Betty Crocker cake. Nor have I ever baked anything from scratch. While browsing the internet, I came across some delicious breakfast recipes, and found one that satisfied my cravings. Its called cinnamon banana bread and I got it off of the land-o-lakes brand website. Here’s the recipe and a few pictures of how my very first homemade baking experience turned out:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Cinnamon Sugar Butter Spread
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 ripe (1 cup) bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Ingredients - I used an extra tsp. of cinnamon.

Ingredients – I used 1 tsp. of cinnamon in addition to the cinnamon butter.

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 8×4-inch loaf pan; set aside.
2. Combine sugar, 1/2 cup Cinnamon Sugar Butter Spread and eggs in large bowl.

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3. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.

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4. Reduce speed to low; add bananas and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
5. Stir in all remaining ingredients until just mixed.

2013-01-09_21-47-49_3042013-01-09_21-57-34_3496. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
7. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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8. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.

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9. Serve with additional Cinnamon Sugar Butter Spread, if desired.

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I should have taken a picture of it with the butter on it, but this is the result.
It was so tasty! (:

This bread was as soft and savory as the vanilla loaf cakes you buy at Walmart or any grocery store that has a bakery. It was so delicious, I’m going to start making something like this once a month for breakfast. (: