Sephora Bought Reds

When it comes to red lipstick, I try my best to get them all. Not all reds are the same and there are some that I’ll steer clear of.

For example, any lipstick with extremely drying formula is a no go for me. The fall/winter weather is harsh on my skin, I don’t need to add to its demise. That’s why I’m careful to wear lipstick that don’t dry my lips out too much.

I don’t discriminate between matte and gloss colour. It all depends on my mood. Some days I wear matte and some days I don’t.

I’m all about quality. The quality of the lipstick will either give me a boost of confidence or make me feel self conscious.

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?

Shocking Pregnancy Symptoms

Hey there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog post. I’m currently pregnant with my third child and I swear there are some things I thought I would be ok with but find myself still surprised by. Some of them are things that I’ve forgotten about and others just sneak up on me and catch me by surprised. Without further ado let’s get into it.

Hyperpigmentation

When I was pregnant with my first born back in 2017, nobody had ever warned me about my skin getting darker. I had seen these gorgeous women with their baby bump and they looked so flawless. Meanwhile by the time I was nearing the end of my second trimester I looked like I had been bleaching my face. From the neck down my skin had turned at least five shades darker. Believe I wish I was exaggerating. I became very self conscious to the point that I was afraid to even wear my actual foundation. The difference was so noticeable.

Turns out this is very common. This is called melasma or chloasma and it goes away after pregnancy. Usually it starts looking like a blotchy dark patches and goes away after the baby comes out. In my case the patches just joined together until my skin was blanketed with this new skin tone. It was a very confusing time and since my mom had never experienced this, it was confusing for her too. Thank goodness for Google.

Pain, pain and more pain

I was “ok” with the morning sickness because I expected it. It came, I complained and prayed it didn’t last the whole pregnancy and half way through the second trimester it was gone I was good. Then came the back pain. It just always feels like my back is screaming at me for gaining weight. You’d swear we were having an internal civil war.

Then the ligament pain. My pelvic bone and butt muscles don’t see eye to eye right and since Tylenol is the only pain medication I can take, I have resigned and made it my friend. These pain is my body making room for the delivery of my child and it’s a sign that my body is doing it’s job. The hormones that has been released is relaxing my lower regions so that my baby has enough room to come out in. However, this “relaxing” feature isn’t relaxing me. It’s in fact doing the opposite.

Insomnia

You’d think I’d be able to sleep through the night because the baby isn’t here, right? Nope! Absolutely wrong. In fact, it’s common. Between the baby training for the real world Olympics or whatever exercises it’s doing in there, to my bladder no longer having the room to store as much urine as it did before it’s hard to sleep and/or stay asleep. I wish I could say it gets better. Unfortunately, that has not been my experience.

In conclusion

Pregnancy has its highs and lows. Some of them are tolerable some of them just suck. It’s completely fine to enjoy this process because honestly it’s a feat that only you get to experience in your way. Not every journey is the same and some come with unforeseen obstacles. Remember that this to shall pass. Until, enjoy the process as much as you can.

My toddler won’t sleep…

It’s currently 4:07 am and my one year old has been fighting sleep since 3:30 pm. Smack dab in the middle my sleep is interrupted by the constant whimpering that slowly progress into full blow cry. As I’m hearing this I’m debating whether or not I should get out of bed. I know she’s ok, she’s never really been much a sleeper.

She’s good with laying down in her crib but the falling asleep stage had always been a struggle. Even now as she lays her head on my chest, she’s moving and squirming, making herself comfortable as my heart heartbeat serves as an internal lullaby and my growing fetus is currently kicking around.

Her eyes are open but her gaze is sleepy. She’s tired. We both know it. So I do what any Christian mother would do. I pray. I pray and I speak over my child. I command the angels to watch over her. I pray hoping for the miracle that my baby needs to sleep through the night. I pray in Jesus’ name and I wait. I hear nothing. I get up and I leave. Once I close the door the whimpering return and I’m left feeling more hopeless than when I went in. This isn’t the first time and yet here we are still faced with this predicament.

Should I pick her up? Should I bring her into my bed? Did she have a nightmare? Is this a night tremor? Maybe she napped too long. Or maybe not enough. Let’s go through Google on this. I’m already awake so I might. Lord knows I need answers. Once again, equipped with my smartphone in my hand, I use my external brain to find an answer that will help. I’m sure there there’s a mommy blog out there with the answers I need.

Sure enough there is. In fact, there’s plenty. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one. Of course, the reasons of why this could be happening isn’t a clear cut diagnosis. Since toddlers lack the ability to accurately express themselves. To be honest, at 34 years of age I find myself at times unable to accurately express myself except through tears. So it makes sense that a child who’s been on this side of life for less than two years would also have this issue. It’s not her fault

The first thing that I notice is the need for patience and lots of it. All of this is normal and like most people, this too shall pass. I personally would hope that it could’ve passed months ago, but no. Once again, patience and grace is required for this challenge. This is not just her challenge, it’s ours. We both are tired and awake. We are both annoyed. We are both sleepy. Both of our sleep has been interrupted for some unknown reason. My otherwise happy toddler is now annoyed by this unforeseen grievance and is calling out for my help to navigate through this trying and at best find the solution to this.

Umm, I don’t know who lied to her but I don’t have the answers. At best I have Jesus and Google. All I can do is pray and assess. But here we are.

After debating the next best step I know what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to bring into my bed. I don’t feel like wrestling a toddler tonight. My body has been through enough and is still going through it. I don’t want to be up all night either. I don’t want to hear crying. So I do what I believe is the next best thing. I pick her and lay her in my chest. A mother’s hug is always welcomed. I let my chest be her pillow and allow her to feel safe by my presence. I don’t know if I’m doing it right. But I know that her breathing has slowed down. Her body. I longer tense nor stressed. She’s sleeping peacefully.

It’s moments like these I’m reminded of what patience, grace and love can accomplish. In the moments that it took for me to write this blog post, my little one has fallen asleep. As I’m get ready to bring her back to her bed, I’m aware that this same kind patience shown to be me I must show to myself. Life is a series of transitions. Some are annoying and some are great. How we handle them makes us great.

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.

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

No Frizz Wash n GO

Hey there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog. I’m so happy you’re here. I hope this blog post is informative and has the answers you are looking for to achieve the wash and go hairstyle of your dreams.

Disclaimer: The following blog post will contain some items that were gifted to me. There may be some affiliate links for the products mentioned. Please feel free to click on those links. If you purchase from these links you will not spend more but you may save some money, all the while supporting this site. It’s a win-win if you ask me.

Back to the topic at hand.

So you want a frizz free wash n go? I don’t blame you. What curly, coily, kinky haired natural doesn’t want to show off the beautiful crown that grows out of your scalp? I definitely do. But with the warmer weather coming, the main thing I find hardest to battle is frizz.

Truth is our hair is frizzy. Not all curls are created equal and it doesn’t matter if they are growing out of the same head. My curls vary depending on where the curls are placed. In the middle of my head, the curls are tightest and do not set well with the front of my hair where the curls are looser. This lack of homogeneity can create frizz. But just because frizz is there doesn’t mean we can’t control it, somewhat. It doesn’t mean it will disappear. It just means we can minimize frizz in our wash and go.

When it comes to curly hair, no matter how tight the curl is a good wash and go hairstyle is best achieved on clean and moisturized hair. That is the foundation of any hairstyle. Product build up can smell bad, create graininess with new product application (which never looks good), weigh down the hair and create an unnecessary barrier that keeps the product from doing it’s job. The hair has got to be clean. In case you haven’t heard it, you gotta wash your hair. Using a good gentle moisturizing shampoo can provide the cleanliness your hair and scalp without overstripping your hair of it’s natural oils and helps restore your hair’s natural moisture and still allowing you a clean scalp. A moisturizing conditioner with a good amount of slip is great for detangling while washing. I love to section my hair via finger detangle and then go back with my favourite detangling brush. It makes a whole difference post wash.

After your hair is washed and conditioned, the products themselves are not the only thing you need to be wary of but the application as well. You can have great products but if they’re applied improperly you will be feeling extremely disappointed. I always suggest using the products per the instructions on the product. With that said, you should probably rinse out that conditioner as stated on the package and use an actual leave in conditioner or a conditioning styling product.

With a good foundation, and with the right products for your hair, all you really need is a proper setting technique. I personally love to section my hair and make each section smaller so that I can get the products in my hair. I start with a small amount and work up the quantity based on how my hair is reacting. When I want my hair to set with defined curls and very minimal frizz, I use a gel like the Earthtones Natural Curl Enhancing Gelly Max. If I want to ease up on the “freeze” curl look and want that bit of frizz then I use the Shea Moisture Papaya & Neroli All Day Frizz Control milk-gel or the TGIN Honey Hydrating hair mousse. I make sure to get my hair to set the way it naturally does when it’s wet so that when it dries, the curls dry together. You can use a diffuser to preserve and retain length when it’s wet, or let it air dry.

Below are two of my YouTube videos that shows my wash and go hairstyles.

I hope this help clears things up. Let me know what you think?

Double Cleanse Routine

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.

I’ve been loving the Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm. Check out how I use it as part of my double cleansing routines

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?