Summer Skin Care Routine

Hey there! Thanks for checking out blog. I know that the stores have already started putting out the back to school and some may have already gotten ready for Fall, but summer is very much still happening. So I’m going to be showing my current skin care routine.

Since I’m pregnant there are certain items I’ve had to stay away from. Mainly, retinol. And I do love retinol. So I’ve really focused but my skin has adapted well. Check it out here.

How’s your summer skin care routine going?

My Pregnancy Body Image

When it comes to body image we’ve all had our ups and downs. As a teen, I was a late bloomer. The only thing that developed was my uterus and my height. Aside from that, I was a skinny, awkward, lanky flat chested girl. My hair never grew past my shoulders because back then I didn’t have the resources I have now. My mom waited way too long to get me first bra, mind you I don’t think it would’ve been filled with much. I outgrew clothes as quickly as I got them in my closet. My skin care routine was non existent and so my face was full of acne. My peers on the other hand, were blessed with curves, hair and make up. I was the ugly duckling in my crew.

When I got older and got my first job I was finally able to take some form of control over my appearance but it took years of learning to appreciate what was there. As a young woman, I was often told to cover up my non existent curves lest I be seen as the Jezebel and make the men fall in lust with my body. Those horny depraved minds lusted after anything with legs and it really had nothing to do with what I wore. I was tall, I was pretty without makeup and a friendly attitude to back it until you got on my bad side. Then well…you got the gist.

Unfortunately, due to the people around me and their “overprotective” counsels I developed a very strange idea of what my body looked like. I began to see what they saw and did my best to eliminate any source of sin. As a Christian, I made it my mission to look “modest”. I wore clothes that were way too big for me. It wasn’t uncommon to be told that my skirt was too short or my butt looked too big. For those of you who didn’t know me back then, I was a size 4. Yup a whole single digit, size 4.

Well, I got out of that toxic situation after ten years. But it took me awhile to reset my vision of my physical image and to fully come to love the creation that God made me to be. Once I fully embraced myself, I got pregnant. What should’ve been a beautiful experience became a nightmare from hell.

I literally thought I could love my body no matter its size and it turns out I didn’t. In fact, I’m currently going through my third pregnancy and I’m still fighting this rhetoric. I don’t feel beautiful. I don’t feel sexy and I don’t feel confident showing my body. I feel like that thirteen year old gawky and awkward teenager trying to get through my entire house without crashing into anything. I have no idea how wide I am and my body is so sore all the time. When I try to explain this to people all I hear “You’re not fat, you’re pregnant!” and the truth is I’m both. I am fat and I am pregnant. There’s nothing wrong with being fat, but there’s something wrong with me.

I know I’m not supposed to feel this. I know that my body is a machine that custom built for this and every life that I carry. But I have this belly that I can’t hide. These hips that just protrude out of my side. My butt jingles and I keep seeing pockets of fat deposits on my thighs. I wish it could be as simple as after the baby is born, I could lose the weight but the truth is. Losing weight postpartum is really hard.

When I had my second born, I actually gained weight postpartum. My mom actually commented on my weight and I felt so small. I am trying so hard to love my body for what it is and I can’t even comprehend what is happening or why it’s happening. I am breastfeeding and eating right and yet I can’t lose the weight. It took me 9 months to get this weight and to manage it, and here I am postpartum still feeling like an insecure teenager. I’m supposed to be over this. This body is the same body that carried these children. The same body, my babies cling to when they want to be comforted. This same body provides nurture, care and a haven of safety for my loved ones and yet all I see is the flaws, I have been told to hate.

I don’t know if this is body dysmorphia, but I know I don’t see an accurate picture of myself or maybe I do and that’s why I’m having such a hard time with this. I wish I could say that I love the way I look because the truth is I don’t. I am most comfortable showing my face and my hair because it still looks normal to me. I have a slight double chin but I can hide that with a contour stick. Everything else is just…ugh!

I wish I knew how to fix it. I don’t. I do hope that this sparks a conversation.

To you, who understands how I’m feeling you’re not alone. No matter how we feel, the truth is we are beautiful.

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Review

I think it goes without saying that I absolutely adore this foundation. It’s basically my personalized liquid melanin in a bottle. That may sound like an over exaggeration but that’s how I feel.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CNVXiJGnSVL/?igshid=1rbk2m8taairv

If you want the tea your best bet is to check out my latest YouTube video.

https://youtu.be/UUfBKrL_5KI

Have you tried it? What do you think?

Bittersweet Mother’s Day

This year is bittersweet. I live in Ontario where we seeming to be in a never ending lockdown. It’s taking a toll on me mentally and in a way that I wasn’t prepared for. I have exasperated all of my self care arsenal and after the bomb has gone off I’m left cleaning up my own mess.

Mother’s Day has been awkward for me. From the moment that I gave birth to my firstborn and now four years later, two kids later and three pregnancies later I find it really hard to celebrate. It’s like a birthday that everyone forgets about until the day off. The worst part is my birthday is often forgotten to begin with. Those who remember Mother’s Day are usually the ones old enough to do for themselves or to remind their father to do something for their mother. My kids are still very young. I should be the one reminding them of what today means to me but to be honest I don’t know what it means to do.

In the past, I’ve tried to celebrate Mother’s Day with my own mom and it wasn’t always received well. I remember when I was told, “If you loved me you would obey me. You would do your chores. That’s love.” That stayed with me. I knew that I could never measure up to that standard because everyday there was something I couldn’t do.

I guess it started from there. Now I’ve got my own and I wish it wasn’t so. I see mothers being celebrated by their husbands and children. Some are going away on trips and receiving lavish gifts. Meanwhile, I’m in the middle of potty training a very strong willed 20 month old and dealing with a four year old with enough sass to punch every nerve in my body. There’s a growing pile of laundry that needs to be addressed before I run out of sweat suits and underwear. There’s a stain in the kitchen floor that been bothering me for days. There’s feeling of missing out as I see mothers enjoying wine while I’ve got an unborn treating my uterus like a gymnasium.

I could say I’m tired but that would be understatement. In all honesty, I don’t know what I am anymore. Is it exhaustion? Is it tired? Is it depression? Is it failure? Is it heaviness? Sadness? Hormones? I don’t know.

If you’re in the same boat as me this post is for you. I see you. We’re carrying the mental and spiritual load of our loved ones so they can keep smiling and they feel loved. We want them to be remembered to feel validated at the cost of our existence. We want to give them an experience contrary to the experience that we are living. We are doing our best in a world that continues to tell us that we are coming up short. The nights are longs. The sleep is restless. We struggle to make sense of what is happening based on our past experiences. We want to show up and to serve our loved ones well. We’re seeking help without being a burden to those who love us and those we love. We want to be seen. We want to be validated. We want to live in every sense of the word without reservations.

This post is for you. You wake up everyday hoping that this is the day everything will fall into place. You hope that your past will be contradictory to your future. You wake up hoping to see your prayers answered without something bad happening alongside the good. You want to enjoy today because it’s precious. You hope today is different from yesterday.

This day is for you. There’s enough room for you this Mother’s Day. There’s enough room to laugh, to cry, to enjoy and to mourn. There’s enough room to seek help, to find peace and have rest. This Mother’s Day is for you too. It’s not exclusive for the Instagram mom who’s got it all together. This Mother’s Day is not exclusive to the rich and wealthy. It’s for the struggling, it’s for the fighters who are serving through the pain and tears. If you haven’t slept in years or maybe you do sleep soundly, this day is for you. If you’ve made some bad choices, this Mother’s Day is for you. If no one in your family remembers to celebrate you, this day is for you too. I celebrate you.

I celebrate me. It won’t look like what I post online. I don’t know if I’ll put on some make up. I’m sure I’ll be chasing my toddler around with the miniature potty trying to avoid as many spills as possible. Of course, unsuccessfully. I’ll be doing the laundry since it can’t be done by itself. I’ll be receiving kisses and hugs as a form of love. I know I’ll get lots of “Happy Mother’s Day!” from strangers and loved ones alike. This day won’t be memorable for me. But I see me. I see my work and I know my worth.

This day is for me too.

Show up And Serve

I woke up this morning and I was absolutely miserable. I mean, literally woke up ready to cry my eyes out. I didn’t get a chance to process my emotions as I was trying to understand how I could wake up from my sleep and still feel like I haven’t slept at all. Those are the worst kinds of sleep. Needless to say I was exhausted physically. As I was contemplating getting out of bed and justifying delaying my morning routine while everyone was still sleeping, I heard my youngest call out to her father. He was just about ready to go to work. Of course, I got up, got her and brought her to my bed. Sometimes, I can get her to lay down with me for a while, while I gather my thoughts together.

It wasn’t long before my husband came into the room and needed me to take care of something that needed my immediate attention. This is not the way I wanted to begin my morning. I just needed a moment to gather my thoughts. It was being taken from me, moment by moment. Piece by piece. With my head on my pillow, I placed my arm over my eyes, avoiding the emotional flood that was about to hit me. I knew it was coming. All the alarm bells were going off and I couldn’t evacuate.

Is there anything I could have done?

As I laid there, all I did was try to find the missing link. I needed to find the culprit. I knew it was me. I knew that I was stressed about things I couldn’t control. But, there’s this innate desire in me to fix all that is broken. My online presence was suffering and all I could do was see my shortcomings. Could I have done anything differently? I wasn’t making any money. All these prospects were drying up. I was becoming as irrelevant as I had believed myself to be. Maybe I had been over confident, I overshot my shot. I should have just done what always works, that is being afraid and running away.

Truth is, I don’t want to go back to the way things were. There’s nothing wrong with being working a 9-5 but it’s not for me. I can’t do it. I can’t work for someone else making enough money to pay half of bills. I can’t go back to spending my energy being someone other than me for majority of the time. I am not that person. I don’t want to be successfully broke. I don’t want to update my resume in hopes that some government worker is going to take pity on the fact that I’m a minority who is also bilingual. Mind you that hasn’t worked either.

What to do?

Someone commented on a post I made and what they said resonated with me.

“We don’t give up. We keep showing up and eventually things will get better.”

You know what? She’s right. I don’t know what will happen in a month or two. All I have is the last four months to go on. I know something’s got to change and it will. I know it won’t happen overnight and I still have a lot of learning. There are still some major life transitioning phases that I will have to navigate. I can only my best with what I have. My only hope is that it’s enough.

We need to be inspired effectually and effectively. You and I both know that this world is far from perfect. For years, we’ve been told what is and is not acceptable by people who have the funds to sell their message. We’ve bought their message and believe their story to only find out that it was a lie all along. This is not the kind of message I want my daughters to believe.

I started this to prove to myself that I have what it takes to be the woman that my children can be proud to call their mother. But most importantly, I need to prove to myself that I am not wasted potential. I am not just an influencer or that girl who used to be smart. I am not just a housewife that is dependent on her husband for a paycheck. I am not a poser on the ‘gram trying to get like and comments. I am more than that.

I am a living and breathing testimony that anything can happen if you’re willing to have faith and put in the work. I have seen domestic abuse first hand. I know what it’s like to be homeless. I know what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant. I know what it’s like to feel rejected, to be told that your feelings are invalid. I know to be knocked off a pedestal that was build for you by those who “believed” in you just to be knocked down and have your head hit the ground. The reason is I keep coming back is because I have a job to do.

I have to serve my community, near and far. I may not be remembered for my work but as long as my words inspire you to get up and keep fighting for your destiny then I have done my job. If you are able to relate to this and still choose to get up and keep going then I’m doing my job.

You are living breathing miracle. You have survived all the trauma and criticism you’ve faced. Your energy transcends your presence and continuously affect those you have encountered. Your smile is infectious and cause others to feel at peace. That is a blessing. Better yet, you are a blessing. You may not realize it but your time is coming. Whatever happens, show up and serve.

Spring Clean Your Circle

Hi there. Thank you so much for checking out my blog. Today, I will be doing things a little differently.

I believe that part of living my life has always included my faith in God. As a Christian woman who grew up in a Christian home, I have always been told to forgive and forget. I saw many loved ones get hurt over and over again following this advice. Some of them have been abused and traumatized and had it not been for the grace of God, I believe that I would be continuing the cycle of abuse. I am not a professional and I do believe in therapy. I believe that there are some things that prayer alone can’t fix. Especially when dealing when traumas that continuously interfere with your ability to enjoy YOUR life. I capitalized your because sometimes it’s easy for us to become so influenced by other people’s counsel (even though they mean well) that we lose our identity in other people’s validation. I urge you to seek professional counselling if you’re ready to change but find yourself unable to.

The other day, I was sitting in the living room by myself, (time alone is a gift from God, Himself!) watching the Baby-Sitters’ Club television series on Netflix. I used to read the books as a child and so watching this show brought back all the nostalgic feelings of my childhood. As I watching, I noticed that one of the characters, Kristy, was so annoying. When I was younger, I felt connected to her the most. We were exactly alike with similar familial circumstances. I could relate to her. But looking at her now, as an adult I realized something. She wasn’t assertive, she was mean. She needed to be in control all the time, regardless of who she hurt. She meant well, but her desire to control everything just left a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t until her character started freaking out about her absentee father that all the pieces fell together.

I was Kristy. I wasn’t a nice person and had a desire to control everything so I could control the outcome. That way I could avoid being hurt. I carried that way of living well into my adult years. I had developed a coping mechanism to avoid being hurt over and over again.

Once I got married to my husband and had my daughter, something clicked. Call it an epiphany, call it a revelation but something happened. I needed to change because I was not the same girl anymore. I didn’t want to be the same girl anymore. I was a mother who had to teach my daughter how to live a beautiful and fruitful life. But how do I that? I didn’t want her being like me. I wanted to be assertive, decisive and kind so she could take over the world without being selfish or mean. That’s when I had a conversation with myself, which is quite easy to do when you don’t have many friends to begin with. This mostly took place in the spring. That’s when I began spring cleaning my circle.

I started by loving me. I began to identify all the ways that I could love myself and affirm who I was as a human being. It’s important for my children to be loved by a parent who is full of love. I don’t need the validation of others to be amazing at being me. I need my daughters to feel the same way. I’m not perfect but I love myself the way I am.

Then I started showing up as the woman that I wanted my daughters to look up to. Like I said, I know I’m not perfect but that doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of improvement. Accidents happen and that’s ok.

I would say the key to my revolutionary spring cleaning was learning to set boundaries. There are comments that I hear from loved ones that I just let slide because, in all honesty, I don’t feel like censoring the elderly all the time. However, there are comments that I will censor. I will not tolerate comments that disrespect me or my family. I have the right to refuse and to remove negative and toxic speech from being spoken in my presence and the presence of my children. Words are very powerful and have a way to carry over well after the moment has passed. For years, I carried words spoken to me in my heart. These words were hurtful and manifested themselves into my life in a negative way. I will not be the access for this kind of behaviour for my girls. My hope is that they are led by example and they too, will set boundaries and develop a strong voice to advocate for themselves when I can’t.

Another part to setting boundaries, for me, was cutting off toxic family members. Some family members just happen to drift off and lose contact and that happens. Life happens and we all have our own families to care for. However, those that have continuously caused hurt to me personally without a change in behaviour, I no longer entertain. It is important to me that I stay healed. Forgiveness is hard enough the first time, but after a while it becomes debilitatingly oppressive. After living like that for years, I believe that the next course of action is to be free and to stay free. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s really hard. A lot of people don’t understand why I have chosen to go this route. But for the first time in my life, I’m advocating for myself. My voice is being heard. I don’t have to resort to controlling everything and, honestly, it feels good.

Whoever you are, if you find yourself just stuck and constantly feeling hurt, believe me it will get better. You have a voice and it matters. Speak up and get help. You may find yourself alone but it’s better to be alone and free.

Continue reading

HI My Name is Sandy

Hi there! Happy New Year! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

Lately, there’s been a few faces coming to my blog and I am so happy you are here. It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance. Whether you’re here for my life hacks, my skin care, hair care and/or thoughts on life I’m grateful that you’ve made the decision to keep visiting my blog.

A bit about me…

My name is Sandy Esprit. I am a stay at home mom and full time social media content creator. I have mothered two girls and am married. I love what I do and am very grateful that I get to live this life. Of course I’m giving you the short form version of my life because well I always wanted to hide my past. However I want my life to inspire others and that can’t happen unless I open up that Pandora’s Box.

Into My Past We Go…

I grew up in a single parent home, where my mother was the sole bread winner. I understood the value of hard work and the value of a dollar. Growing up we didn’t have a lot growing up, but we always had food to eat and a roof over our head. It wasn’t always easy. In fact, my mother worked hard every day but at times it seemed like that hard meant nothing.

We never stayed in one place too long. I went through 13 different schools because we kept moving so much. I don’t have any childhood friends other than my little sister. Honestly, she’s my best friend by default. We were each other’s rock. I feared relationships growing up. I didn’t trust people. It was hard to open up and when I did I overshared.

I’ve been homeless at least three times. I’ve lived in a country illegally for a few years. I know what it’s like to suffer in silence. I had my first panic attack at the age of 13 and had to navigate it alone. There were times when I felt like I was put in situations where I was used as a means to bridge familial disputes. As a child, that’s not a situation that made me feel loved or appreciated.

But we got through it by God’s grace.

Here we are…

Eventually, my life levelled out. I went to school and graduated. I attended the University of Ottawa where I majored in Biochemistry and took a minor in music. I wanted to study music but I wasn’t allowed so I went with my second love, science. It took me six years but I did it.

I always wanted to help people and make them feel valued, like they could do anything. I hated that feeling of insecurity and instability. That became even more prevalent when I was pregnant with my first born. I loathed it and wanted to protect my daughter from ever feeling this way, which is why I started blogging.

I didn’t see anyone who looked like me articulating my likes just as much as my insecurities. Everyone looked so put together and well curated. Meanwhile I was hot mess. So, I became vulnerable and posted about my fears. It wasn’t always well received but I felt better owning my story.

People were relating to me. I was inspiring people get through their day-to-day and I wanted my daughter to see me as a woman instead of just mommy. Because one day they’ll be my age and they may face the same struggles I face today as a woman. They need to know that they’re not alone. Most importantly, they’ll be ok.

Post Holiday Struggle

Hi there! Happy New Year! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. After completing the #nablopomo challenge I tried to enter the #vlogmas challenge over on my youtube channel and I was completely burnt out. Turns out it’s easier for me to blog then it is for me to vlog. Or maybe I just wasn’t prepared. I knew however that I wanted to jump on here and get back to some sense of normalcy in my safe space. But it hasn’t been easy.

In fact, this holiday was just really tiring for me. There was so much I was trying to accomplish by the end of the year all the while still wanting to be present. At one point I just had to shut everything down. I knew the end result would be catastrophic. Now I’m just struggling to get into the momentum of work, despite being in yet another lockdown. It can be really frustrating trying to salvation a bit of excitement for the upcoming year when all I see isn’t too uplifting. I figured now would be the best time to start implementing the lessons I’ve learned in 2020.

  1. Never stop investing in yourself; Honestly the best money spent has been on myself and I’m not talking about splurging on the latest trending items, I mean really making an investment in yourself. There’s something about putting your faith (or money) on your dreams and your passions. You almost never lose out on that investment. There’s always a reward in the end.
  2. Kindness is KING! Being kind is free and really easy to put into practice. It doesn’t mean that you let people walk all over you it just means that you are intentionally and proactively seeking to change the world positively. Your presence is influential in the way this society will end up for our future. Let’s do our part and be kind. Also kindness will get you into places that talent and work ethic never could.
  3. Boundaries are meant to be enforced- This year really taught me to enforce boundaries with people. Growing up I was often placed in a position where I was easily overlooked, gaslit and ignored. As a mother, to two young girls you better believe that this is not something I intend to pass on to my girls. Not everyone I know is meant to travel with me. Not everyone I have met is going to be helpful on my journey, and if they cause me more harm than good, then it’s time for us part ways. It doesn’t need to be hostile but it does need to be enforced
  4. I don’t know everything- I’m no expert. No matter how big I get I will always need to learn something new. Every step I take will require me to level up in my learning. One of the best apps I have been leaning on is Clubhouse to just learn.
  5. Be Yourself- This is cliche but it needs to be said. Your greatest superpower is the ability to be YOU. Not one person can do what you do and tell your story the way you do. Use that to your advantage.

I really hope this year brings you everything you desire. I think this year will be the reset that we need this year!

What have you learned in 2020 that you will be implementing this year?