Be Still

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As a mother, it can be so difficult to find the time to simply be still. My eyes open in the morning to the sound of crying from the baby monitor and it’s a non-stop rush until around 10pm at night. I get the baby ready, myself ready, go to work, go home, put the baby to bed, clean the house, and finally get some sleep before it all starts over again the next day.

My mind is always running a million miles a minute. I’m extremely forgetful and can hardly remember my own name half the time. I get through the day on coffee and dry shampoo, because who has time for breakfast and a shower?

There are people I’ve been meaning to call for weeks and just can’t find the time. There are gifts I’ve thought to send, friends I want to see, books I need to read, and time I’d like to spend enjoying the company of my husband and son.

It’s so very easy to get caught up in the pace of the world. Our culture is one that never stops moving, never takes a break, and never lets you catch your breath. I think that’s why it’s so important that we remember to stop every now and then and rest.

For me, resting can be a difficult process. You have to intentionally ignore the dirty dishes, forget the unfolded laundry, and put the office out of your mind. Instead, fill your time with things you love in places that allow you to rest and be restored. Whether that’s a quiet cafe, a picnic with friends, or a night in with your family.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since having my son, it’s that life moves so much faster than I ever realized before. You blink once and everything’s changed. At the end of my days when I look back at my life, I want it to be filled with joyful memories of the people I love. I don’t think I’ll care much about how clean the house was.
xo,
alaina

Pregnancy: The Best Blind Date

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My first day of motherhood was a bit like an awkward blind date. 

I had spent months hearing about this super cute guy who couldn’t wait to meet me. All of my friends talked constantly about how gorgeous he would be and how much I would love him. My parents already thought he was a great guy, even though they’d never met him. A few people even showed me some pictures of him. They were in black and white and a bit blurry, but it was exciting to see him anyway.

When we finally met, it was at the end of a very long day. I was exhausted and a little out-of-it. My hair was a mess and my makeup was most definitely not on point. I had been waiting for him for over thirteen hours and honestly, I was ready to just go home. Eventually, one of our mutual friends had to actually go to his home and make him leave. When he finally decided to show up, we said a quick hello and I gave him a polite kiss on the cheek before we both had to leave.

A little while later, we met up again. I was somewhat less of a mess and he was looking much more presentable. As soon as he entered the room, my eyes lit up and my heart skipped a beat. He was the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen. We spent the night cuddling and getting to know each other. All I could think about was how adorable he was. He didn’t say much, but I could tell from the way he looked at me that he was glad we were together.

Who would have known that the love of my life would be a chubby little guy with no teeth? 😂

Skincare Routine

My skincare routine isn’t the most complicated, but it’s what works for me. I’ve tried a variety of products over the years and this has been the best routine for me so far. 

My skin type is sensitive, combination skin with an oily T-zone. I don’t have breakouts very often but I do have a few stubborn blackheads around my nose. 

Step One: I use the Neutrogena Cleansing Towelettes every night to remove my makeup. These are lightly scented with lavender and they smell so good

Step Two: I use the Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser to wash off anything the wipes missed. This formula is great at breaking down makeup and any excess oils on the face. 

(Optional) Step Two: About twice a week I substitute the Purity Cleanser for the Mask of Magnaminty by LUSH. It can be used as a cleanser or a mask but I choose to leave it on for about 10 minutes. It helps to really refresh my face and give me that extra-clean feeling.  

Step Three: Once a week I use a Biore strip to deep-cleanse my pores. My nose is really the only problem area I have with blackheads and these strips help tremendously. However, it’s extremely important that you don’t overuse the strips. If you do this too often it will damage your pores and make them appear larger. 

Step Four: I apply a thin layer of the Caudalie Moisturizing Sorbet to my face, excluding the area around my eyes. This cream is extremely hydrating and is formulated to help skin become less sensitive. It’s one of those holy grail products I’ll never stop using. 

Step Five: I apply the Caudalie Eye Balm to the area around my eyes. This formula helps to reduce puffiness, dark circles, and smooth the appearance of any wrinkles.

In the morning I will wash my face again with the Purity Cleanser and apply the Caudalie Moisturizer and the Eye Balm before I start my makeup routine. That’s about it!

Let me know in the comments what your favorite skincare products are, or if there’s something you think I should try!

Loving Your Body: Pt. One


I’ll be the first to say it: this seems superficial. I can hear the critics now, “You’re going to tackle a complicated emotional issue about accepting yourself for who you are by suggesting a new wardrobe?” Yep! 

Your clothes can be worth so much more than just bits of fabric. I think most people can attest to the fact that a well-fitted, comfortable outfit makes you feel a million times better. I also know that after Bennett was born, not having anything to wear made me feel a million times worse. 

So, here’s my first tip for loving the body you have now. Walk into your closet and take a look around. If you’re anything like me, it’s probably cluttered with clothes too big and too small. There’s stuff in there you haven’t even looked at in years and shoes that hurt your feet. But somehow, every day you still wake up and think, “I have nothing to wear.” 

It’s time to stop holding onto those jeans you can’t pull up over your thighs. It’s time to toss out that oversized shirt that makes you feel like a slob. I’ll even give you permission to get rid of that horrible sweater your grandmother gave you three Christmases ago that you will never, ever wear. 

You may be thinking, “But I’m going to lose weight so I should keep the jeans,” or, “I do hate that shirt, but I don’t know what else will fit.” This is where things get tricky, because we’ve got to learn how to let go. I was exactly the same way and I never got rid of any of my clothes. I might have ended up on an episode of Hoarders if I hadn’t got it together.

One day I finally summoned the courage to purge the closet. Trash bag in hand, I started pulling things from the hangers and out of the dresser. Whatever I didn’t like went in the bag immediately and I absolutely couldn’t second guess myself. To make things a little easier, I decided to donate the clothes instead of throwing them away. I also gave a bag of some of my favorite things that were just too small to a friend who could actually wear them. 

Our bedroom was a complete mess until I got things organized, but once I had, I felt so much lighter. I didn’t have the super small jeans staring at me every time I opened my dresser. I didn’t force myself to wear things I hated just because they fit. Yes, I was left with a much smaller wardrobe, but it made getting dressed way less stressful and full of guilt. 

So, your homework for this week is to weed out everything in your wardrobe that you don’t like or doesn’t fit. It doesn’t mean that you’re giving up on losing weight if you toss the jeans. You can buy more as your size changes. The most important part of this is to accept where you are right now. Letting go of the clothes that make you feel sad or guilty is a huge step in the right direction. 


Next week I’ll be talking about how to find your personal style and buy clothes that make you feel happy. Even if you look like a dork when you laugh. 😉

Loving Your Body: Intro

Having a positive view of my body has always been something that I’ve struggled with. I’ve always been considered “overweight,” and especially through middle and high school, the mental hostility I had against myself took its toll. I was extremely insecure, constantly comparing myself to the girls around me. I hated myself for every imperfection I could find. I never felt good enough, and the guilt was heavy.

After my son was born, I was left even more uncomfortable in my new body. I struggled with accepting the baby weight, which you can read about here, and felt like a stranger in my own skin. Nothing made me feel worse than trying to squeeze into those pre-pregnancy jeans or settling for maternity clothes when I was no longer pregnant. While I did strive to lose the extra weight, my main goal was to finally become comfortable with my body.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share with you guys the steps I’ve taken to accept and love my body. This isn’t just for women who have had children, it’s for anyone who has ever felt unhappy in their own skin. What I write won’t be a magic fix for all of those negative emotions, but I hope that it will serve as a guide to help you find your way.

You are all so strong and so beautiful. More than anything, I hope to help you truly believe that.

Modern Burlap: Crib Sheet

Modern Burlap has quickly become one of my most favorite brands. I completely fell in love with their swaddle blankets and decided to purchase a changing pad cover from them as well. My next purchase will definitely be a crib sheet, and I can’t wait! As with the swaddles, the changing pad cover is extremely stylish with a minimal design. The cover is made of pre-washed, organic cotton muslin that is machine washable and fits all standard size changing pads.

As you can see, Bee definitely enjoys hanging out on his changing pad. We take our changing-time as a chance to hang out and talk and make each other laugh. It’s always an adventure to get that wiggly boy cleaned up when he’s doing everything he can to slow down the process. For that reason, it was super important to find something soft for him to lay around on.

Mama Bird & Co.


Not only is this shirt adorable, it’s also accurate. This girl runs on caffeine and doesn’t function well without it. If you have any doubts, just ask my husband. 

Mama Bird & Co. is one of my most favorite etsy shops. All of their shirts are screen printed by hand and incredibly comfortable. The fit is super relaxed and the fabric is perfectly soft. They also have unique designs to suit every kind of mom (including the highly caffinated). 

Be sure to use the code “blushingbee15” at checkout to get 15% off your order!! 

Milk Snob

Three things I love: stripes, neutrals, and my boy. This product covers all three, literally (sorry for the mom jokes).

The Milk Snob car seat cover is super lightweight, stretchy and breathable. It’s so easy to quickly pull over the seat before heading out the door. It protects Bee from the sunlight while helping to keep him cool in this crazy Georgia heat.

Bennett also fell asleep on our way to Target, so I pulled the cover over his seat before setting it in the cart and it kept him snoozing the whole time. Honestly, I wish I had an adorable little nap-zone I could just crawl into.

Babies get all the best stuff, don’t they?

P.S. This also works as an incredibly soft and stretchy nursing cover for any breast feeding mamas out there!

Growing Up

This guy recently started taking rice cereal with his formula, and holding bottles all on his own. As cliche as it sounds, I honestly can’t believe how much my little man has grown. Daniel and I are constantly talking about how tiny he used to seem and now he’s almost 18lbs and who even knows how tall (we haven’t measured in a while). When I rock him to sleep I already feel like I’m holding a toddler. My mama heart is really struggling with the fact that he’s already growing so fast. No matter what, he’ll always be my baby. ❤️