Let’s Be Honest – The things nobody tells you about labor 


I decided to write this blog post after having had my first child a few days ago. I feel like as much as I read, went to classes, talked to people, and did research, it still never prepared me for the actual labor part and the pain which follows.

Having a baby is the best thing in the world, but some moments can be difficult, especially when you don’t fully know if what is happening to you is normal.I don’t want to discourage you by any means, just want to make you aware!

I didn’t write this post to come off as an expert now that I became a mother and I didn’t intend to scare anyone with it at all! I think it’s important to understand the things that nobody tells you…or at least nobody told me!

Going through labor varies tremendously for everyone. Mine lasted 7 hours whereas some women are in labor for 20! It was the most painful and beautiful experience I’ve ever gone through and I would do it again in a heartbeat for my peanut.

Let’s Get To Business: 

1. Your water doesn’t break all at once. Your water might break or it might not. When it does break on its own, it is like going pee in your pants but it doesn’t really stop. It slows down but it is continuously flowing until your baby arrives. It’s definitely an uncomfortable feeling to have. The water is actually the amniotic fluid that holds your baby and cushions it during pregnancy. After my water broke, I started contracting every two minutes. My stomach became hard because it was full of just the baby!

2. If your water breaks, you still have time. You don’t have to hurry up and run to the hospital like you see in movies. Just don’t wait too long or else you and the baby can get an infection. I went right away because I thought the baby was literally going to come out soon after that. I was extremely uncomfortable and didn’t want to risk anything since it was my first baby.

3. Contractions are the most painful thing you will experience! The contractions were more painful than having to push the baby out. I was not prepared for the type of pain. There’s really no way to explain what it feels like… The closest would be that it feels like heavy bowling balls rolling around in your tummy. I was able to stand 3 hours of it without medication, but then it became excruciatingly painful and had to be alone in my room.

4. The epidural might not numb everything or it might numb you too  much. My epidural numbed my legs so much that I felt paralyzed. It also didn’t numb my lower abdomen and my contractions too much. I was under the impression of the epidural being a shot, but it is almost like a big IV that goes into your back and pumps throughout the entire process. You can start receiving it any time you’d like. I started mine after 3 hours of labor, but it only numbs you from the waste down which is still very helpful!

5. Your doctor will not come into the room until the head of your baby is almost going to pop out. You will have a wonderful nurse that will be with you the entire time and will inform your doctor as soon as she can see the head of your baby. My doctor arrived an hour late. It was a challenge to hold the baby in for an extra hour….still mad about that one!

6.  You will most likely have stitches from an episiotomy. They are pretty common but healing is painful. My doctor asked me if she could do it while I was pushing and I was in so much pain that I told her to do whatever she needs to do. Ha Ha! You will also go home in diapers.

7. Your epidural might not make you feel the need to push. Too much numbing made me feel clueless about what was happening below. I didn’t know the strength of my pushing. You will also want to make sure that you save some energy for the last part because pushing really tires you out!

8. You will wear a diaper and have your period for six weeks following. The first time you pee will be the most painful but it gets easier! I didn’t think I would be able to take care of my baby after being in so much pain after labor, but it gets easier and after day 3 I was walking and good to go!

9. You will not get sleep from the moment you go into labor to the time leaving the hospital. Your baby sleeps in your room with you so you can get used to their habits and schedule. You will also have a nurse/team of people popping in periodically throughout the days and nights. This was actually very helpful and got us used to her cries and schedule.

10. You won’t get to eat during labor. This will make your medicine kick in faster. I went into labor as soon as I was going to eat dinner. I had gone 15 hours without having food…make sure you eat afterwards!

11. Pushing can take hours or it can be super quick. Mine took an hour. The hardest part is getting the head out and then the rest is easy!

12. Breastfeeding ouch! Cluster feeding happens when your milk supply is still coming in. The baby has to work harder to get the colostrum so it becomes more painful and more frequent feedings because of this. It doesn’t last forever! My baby was born with a short frenulum o the tongue so feeding her has been a battle for the first week and a half!

13. Be prepared to be interrupted and bothered by nurses 24/7 while you are staying at the hospital. You will also be there at least 2 nights. I really wanted to go home after the first night, but if you try to leave early then your insurance may refuse to cover your bill.

Kids are the best thing you can have in the world and I would do it all over again for my little Penelope. Just be prepared!! Having a baby is truly life changing and wonderful. I wish I listened to people who told me to get as much rest and sleep as possible before baby comes!







Hair Care Routine


I have been in the process of really repairing my hair and growing it out long. I have changed up my routine a few times, but I really like the routine I have down right now. Pregnancy along with color treatments have caused some damage and dryness to my hair which I really need to repair.


Shampoo – There are a few shampoos I use. I really like Aussie Mega Moist and John Frieda at the moment which was recommended to me by Jemma – Click here to read her blog
I like the Aussie shampoo because it is cheap and comes in a huge bottle. I am not sure if it is just me or if my hair has really been growing faster with it…I like to think that this shampoo has helped with making my hair grow faster. 🙂 I started using the John Frieda products after going blonde ombre. I had red hair before so there are still some tints of it left which is why I use the color correcting conditioner by John Frieda. These shampoos have helped tone my hair and make it very soft.


Hair Masks – I do one once a week. You can read about what product I use in my previous post about Hair Growth. 


After Washing:

Leave in conditioner – Garnier Fructis
I use a leave in conditioner every time I wash my hair because it helps bring the moisture back to it. My hair is very dry so this helps with that issue.

Shine -Argan Oil
I live by this product! It helps with my split ends and smooths my hair out. You only need a very small amount.

For days that I don’t wash my hair….
I use a dry shampoo such as the Tresemme or Batiste to eliminate any oil buildup or greasy looking hair.



I try to let my hair air dry as much as possible. I avoid heat as much as I possibly can too…but I do straighten it once every 3 days. ( roughly) My hair does not do well with looking nice after air drying it.

What’s your hair routine? Would love to hear what you guys are using and any recommendations!

Stay Beautiful!

  • N.J.



My Labor Story


So, it has been two weeks since I had my daughter Penny and I thought I would share my labor story with you all. It was such an exhilarating day and I wish I could relive it over and over again. Despite all of the pain…it was so exciting getting to meet Penny for the first time.

Original due date — May 18, 2016

The last time I looked at my Pregnancy countdown before Penny arrived.

May 12, 2016

The day flew by quickly! I was at home blogging, playing with my dog Eli, and relaxing while my husband ( Steve) was at work. We were both getting super anxious and trying to keep ourselves busy as we approached the due date. We hadn’t been sleeping well and were trying to stay occupied the best we could. Steve came home from work that day and we hung out for a bit, he played some computer games, I blogged and watched Grey’s Anatomy and another episode of Friends.

9:45 p.m. We both looked at each other and noticed we completely forgot to eat dinner! So Steve decided to whip up something delicious to eat. I was just too pregnant to stand and cook over the stove. Chicken and broccoli kiev, mixed vegetables, rice and homemade garlic bread were on the menu. MMMmmmm! We joked around about when we thought the baby would come and I mentioned something along the lines of, ” Maybe all parents feel this anxious right when the baby is about to be born. Maybe she will come tomorrow.” We both had the strangest feeling that night. We sort of new something was going to happen but at the same time we didn’t. I even jokingly mentioned, ” I am so pregnant that I forget I am pregnant anymore.” HAHA

10:30 p.m. We sat on the couch and Steve finished dinner. We made ourselves comfortable and poured ourselves something to eat. I lifted up my garlic bread and was about to bite in it when it happened! My water broke! Without even taking a bite of food, I ran to the bathroom. After about 5 minutes, I came out and told my husband that Penny was on her way. We both shouted and yelled in excitement!

10:45 p.m. We were rushing around the house like crazy, hoping not to forget anything. Steve let Eli outside one last time before we left. I felt like I needed to fix myself up. I didn’t have any makeup on and felt very grungy. The only thing I did was brush my teeth and then we were off to the hospital! I felt so uncomfortable because my water broke and was still ( TMI ) leaking.

11:00 p.m. Arrived at the hospital. Steve ran inside to grab a wheelchair and we had the valet take our car away. We went up to Triage where I was evaluated to see if my water actually did break and how far along I was. The nurse checked and I was only 1 cm dilated and my contractions were about 2 minutes apart. The doctor for the evening came in to talk to me and let me know what the plan would be. He said it is good that my water broke on it’s own but also bad because I was hardly dilated. He said they would monitor me and then give me pitocin ( labor inducing drug ) to help get the ball rolling! They usually do not want the baby to hangout that long in your tummy after the water breaks. You more susceptible to getting an infection along with the baby.

Friday, MAY 13!!!!!

Midnight May 13, 2016 – They checked me into my room where I would stay until the baby arrived. I had the best nurse ever who made me laugh and take my mind off the pain. My mom and mother in law along with my husband were all there to keep me company.

2 a.m.  I wanted the epidural! After 3 hours of labor, I decided that it was in fact time to get it. The anesthesiologist was going into surgery with someone else so they wanted me to get it before he would be unavailable.

3 a.m.  The anesthesiologist came in and explained the entire process for the epidural. I never had surgery before or any anesthetic so everyone was unsure how I would react to it. The procedure took a while and it was a bit painful to say the least. I had to sit up with my arms folded as he poked me in my lower back.

4 a.m. As I was taking the epidural, I was also being injected with Pitocin through an IV. My contractions were becoming unbearable and painful. I was 2 1/2 centimeters dilated when the nurse came in to check again.

5 a.m. I asked the nurse how far along I was and hoped to be at about an 8. She jokingly said ” no, honey. you’re not.” So, I thought it was going to take a long time before we would see Penny. She then went on to say “You’re at a 10. You are definitely 10.” I was 10 cm dilated and the baby was ready to come out! The doctors and staff would be switching over from night to day. My doctor who would be delivering the baby was going to arrive at 7 a.m. The nurse had me sit up so gravity could run it’s course and I could do less pushing in the long run.

7 a.m. The nurses changed shifts and I had a difficult time holding the baby in longer. My nurse informed me that the doctor was still on her way. My epidural wasn’t working well and I was in excruciating pain. They started the epidural at a very low dose so I had to have them bump it up a bit higher. My legs were so numb I couldn’t move or lift them. I felt so sorry for the nurses…I was starting to get upset that my doctor wasn’t there yet and my baby was coming.

7:45 a.m. The nurse tells me my doctor was ten minutes away and that I can start trying to push now while we wait for the doctor. Pushing was so difficult! I was so numb that I wasn’t sure how hard I was pushing. The contractions were so painful that it made it hard to push. The epidural just numbed my legs and I still had excruciating pain in my tummy.  I had to have the anesthesiologist come back to help increase my dosage for the epidural.

8:00 a.m. The doctor is here, the nurses are here,  everyone is here to help bring this baby into the world. My nurse suggested ( TMI AHEAD ) putting a large mirror down there so I can see the progress of the baby. This was both good and really strange. They thought it would help encourage me. The pushing was so difficult for me but I was able to power through it. It was more holding my breath while I pushed that was difficult. My doctor even began singing the Salt n Pepper song, Push It Real Good. This made me giggle and help relieve some of the pain.

9:28 a.m. Penny was welcomed into the world! We did skin on skin interaction asap. She was 6 pounds and 6 ounces. After two hours, they transferred us into a real room where we stayed for two days to be monitored.

So penny arrived a week earlier than her due date which was a huge surprise for us since she was our first baby and everyone usually says that the first baby always comes late. I can’t believe she is already two weeks! I wish I could go back in time and relive the excitement!



Bake with Me! – Pink! Cupcakes


So my husband suggested I make him something sweet to eat, particularly cupcakes. We both came up with the idea that I make them pink in honor of having our new daughter…like a fun celebration treat.

I used to work as a pastry chef for a small cafe during college. I baked everything from scratch..from cupcakes, homemade granola bars, lemon bars, cakes, etc.. so I love baking! I’m actually good at baking and my husband is better at cooking. I like to think that balances us out! 🙂


I made a strawberry cupcakes and used two recipes from my favorite Cupcake book! There wasn’t a specific recipe for Strawberry so I made some modifications. Below is the recipe! Enjoy!


1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup strawberries – chopped very small

Start out by turning your oven on. Preheat it to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners. Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl and set aside. ( this mixture will go in last ) In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until it becomes smooth. Add your eggs one at a time and then add in the vanilla. On low speed, add in your mixture of the flour and make sure to add it in slowly so it becomes fully mixed. Then you will want to add in your milk in two additions. Last, you will add in your strawberries…I like to mix them in by hand so they still stay a bit chunky.

Then you will want to fill each paper liner with the batter. I like to use an ice cream scooper to do this. You will want to fill 1/4 cup batter. Then you bake for 22 minutes or until firm. Stick a toothpick or a fork in it to make sure no batter sticks. Afterwards, you will want to cool them for 10 minutes before applying the frosting.



1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 cups powder sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 – 4 tablespoons whole milk
3 tablespoons colored sugar ( pink ) OR add food coloring which I did

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together with three tablespoons milk, then add one tablespoon more of milk if needed. You want to make sure it is creamy! Afterwards this is where you would add food coloring if you want to. If not, use a small spatula and spread about 2 1/2 tablespoon of frosting per cupcake. Afterwards you can sprinkle them with colored sugar of your choice.


I love to serve cupcakes with a nice cup of tea or coffee! Hope you all enjoy!

— N.J.


The Nudes I Like 

I wear a ton of nudes…probably only nudes. Whenever I go shopping for groceries, I have to stop in the makeup isle. I usually do my grocery shopping at Super Target which is super dangerous for me. 🙂 When I stumbled across this palette, I was excited because I haven’t seen anything like it from Covergirl. I’ve usually only seen palettes of three colors or just one color so this caught me by surprise.

This palette has everything from nudes to a smokey eye. The pigment is very, very soft and silky. The colors seem to last a while but I do wear a primer so I’m not sure how they would do without one.

I really like these tones because there are lighter browns which matches well with my pale self. There are two other palettes they offer. One of them is more rosey and pinks which I will probably end up purchasing as well.

I’m not that impressed with the brush, but that’s sort of a given when it comes to drugstore makeup.

Overall this is pretty good quality for the price and I’d recommend buying it if you’re into nude colors.

Stay Beautiful!

Breastfeeding Realities – Let’s Get Personal  


So, you think that breastfeeding comes naturally or maybe you don’t really think too much into it. I never thought breastfeeding could be a challenge. It’s what the body does. It’s natural. It’s supposed to happen, right? What could be a problem? Well, reality hit after I had my daughter a week ago. Let me dive into the issues that I have discovered along this journey.

1. Cluster Feeding – This is where you get tired. The baby feeds are close together. I was finding myself feeding my baby almost constantly. I would feed her for 20 minutes and then put her down and then 10 minutes later she would want to eat again.

2. Tongue Tie – I found out that the reason my daughter cluster feeds is because she has a pretty severe tongue tie. I didn’t even know this was a thing or a common thing. A tongue tie is the restriction of motion the tongue has. The piece of skin under the tongue is short. This has been causing eating problems and causing her to cluster feed because she wasn’t getting enough food.

3. Not being able to express milk – My milk started to come in but I wasn’t able to express any. This caused so much pain! So much! Your boobs harden..mine felt like rocks! It also made things more difficult for her to get food. It turned out, in my case, that I wasn’t using the proper breast pump. We ended up renting a hospital grade pump and it worked! Let there be milk! I also worked closely with a lactation nurse which helped! She made me feel normal again. I highly recommend seeing one if you are experiencing problems.

4. Supply and Demand – My daughter is eating 3 ounces every 2-3 hours. The problem is that I can only pump about 1 ounce every 3 hours. Things were great the first two days but have gone downhill. My lactation nurse mentioned going on the drug called Reglan which I may try! She says that it increases your milk supply, but due to the side effects, they only allow you to be on it for one month. I have been supplementing formula here and there and mixing it with my own milk.

In the beginning, formula wasn’t even an option for me. I want to feed the natural way because of the wonderful benefits it has for both my daughter and myself.  I felt like I was already failing at being a mother. Not being able to feed your child makes you feel like a disappointment. After speaking with friends, I soon learned that these problems are pretty common and that I am not the only one that is feeding my baby formula. I also have the best supportive husband in the entire universe who has helped tremendously.

Being a bad parent is not feeding your kid. I have to remind myself that we are doing the best we can with what we have. I haven’t given up on breastfeeding entirely! We are doing all that we can right now.

  • N.J.

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A Little Life Update

Hey lovelies!

This past week has been full of making adjustments. I went into labor on May 12th and came home with a baby on May 15th! My life feels completely different along with my priorities.

My daughter Penelope is doing wonderful! We are all figuring out our schedule and getting very little sleep while doing so. We have only been home 1 night right now so we are still getting in the groove of things with her.

I have been lacking on the blogging because of this. Little Penny May will always come first in my life.

Little Penny decided she wanted to come into the world late Thursday night on May 12th. Around 10:30 p.m. when I was about to eat a late night dinner with my husband, it happened, my water broke. I initially didn’t believe it was happening since my due date was a week later and this was my first baby, but I did know right away that it was all going to happen and it happens so fast. We didn’t waste any time at all and drove to the hospital where they monitored my contractions and determined that it was in fact time for Penny to meet everyone. I had some of the best nurses around and I cannot thank them enough for taking care of me and Penny while we were there. I am savoring this time and loving my little family bubble now. 🙂





May Wishlist

My May Wishlist includes a few beauty products, home decor and some items to get my desk organized.

  1. A cute little face cup to hold my pens at my desk. I found this item at Target!
  2. A set of two white drawers to sit on top of my desk for organization purposes. ( Might purchase it in a different color)
  3. Blossom Cherry Lip Gloss – Urban Outfitters
  4. Light pink or clear mason jars to organize my makeup brushes
  5. MILK Face Mask – Urban outfitters
  6. Lumi Phone Case – To take selfies for my blog! ( Duh ) I found it at Urban Outfitters but it’s also available on Amazon for cheaper
  7. BH Cosmetics blush and contour kit
  8. Notebook – To keep track of my blogs and ideas
  9. Jeffree Star – Lip Scrub in Strawberry
  10. Hologram Nail Polish – Need I say more?!
  11. Peony Candle – My favorite flower so of course I want my apartment to smell like it!
  12. Hanging Plant – Urban Outfitters – I have pets so this is the perfect way to have plants and keep them out of the way from my dog and cat
  13. Solstice Summer Highlighter – Since you have all been raving about it. I cannot find it in the U.S. 😦
  14. Magazine Organier
  15. Elephant Tea Mug to hold your tea
  16. A New Purse! Something big and neutral

My wishlist is pretty darn big this month! Oh well!


  • N.J.

Liebster Award!


Hello Beautiful People!

I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by the amazing Alicia!

Liebster Award Rules:

Acknowledge the blogger that nominated you, (ALICIA)
Answer the questions
Nominate another five bloggers
Give them ten questions to answer

Here are the questions I was asked…

  1. Who is your hero? My mom is my hero because of many reasons. She was the one who raised me and my sister and gave us everything we could ask for even in hard times. She is the strongest woman I know.
  2. What motivates you to work hard? My family motivates me and the fear of failure motivates me to strive further. Doing the best for my daughter motivates me…having the right people in your life is very important.
  3. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Oh this is a tough one. I really would have to say pizza! 😀
  4. What makes you laugh the most? I tend to laugh a lot even at myself. I think it’s important to be able to laugh at life and not take things too seriously…My husband makes me laugh the most and our newborn daughter because she makes the goofiest faces. 
  5. What is your favorite thing about having a blog? I enjoy writing and saying my experiences with people. I also enjoy reading and learning about people, new things, anything beauty related etc… it’s a fun community to be a part of. 
  6. What’s your favorite movie? I really love The Royal Tenenbaums by Wes Anderson. I love all of his movies because of the cinematography and his choice of actors. His movies are told like books.
  7. What’s your favorite post to write? I am pretty new to blogging, but I enjoy doing monthly favorites. I really like taking the pictures! 
  8. Where were you born? I was born in Chicago and grew up in Germany.
  9. What post are you most proud of? Probably the ones of my daughter or that are related to her. 🙂 I have fun with all of them! I also have a post about marriage that I haven’t posted publicly yet…stay tuned for that one! 😉 
  10. Do you have any special talents? Photography and I can speak German fluently…I don’t have any cool talents 😦

The questions I would like to ask:

  1. If you can have a dinner party with three people ( dead or alive ) who would you invite? 
  2. What is your favorite show?
  3. What is your greatest achievement? 
  4. What do you do in your free time?
  5. What’s your favorite makeup brand? Why? 
  6. Favorite places to shop?
  7. Would you rather stay in on a Friday night or go out?
  8. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
  9. What was the most frightening thing that happened to you and how did you overcome that fear?
  10. Have you ever loved something so much that you walked away from it and did not regret it? What was it? I nominate 






Pregnancy and Pampering


Pregnancy is the best thing in the world but also the most difficult thing your body will endure. I have had to adjust tremendously as I progressed throughout the process! I really recommend having some days to just take care of yourself and use the entire day as a pamper day. Turn your bathroom into a spa and let go of the outside world and the anxieties that pregnancy can have. I usually set up my bathroom with candles, a good magazine or book, some tea and just unplug myself for an hour or two. Let things go!

While I was pregnant, I noticed some major changes to my skin, hair, nails, feet, etc…I really began experimenting with different products to see what works with these new changes. Pregnancy has been rough on me to be 100% honest with you. You have to get used to sharing your body with another little person and sometimes you don’t feel like yourself. It is a wonderful experience but it does weigh on your confidence.


Here are some major things I did to help boost my mood!

FACE/SKIN – During the first trimester my face started breaking out like crazy and it became very dry. I couldn’t wear foundation because of this reason…it just looked awful! I became desperate as I tried different products. I was so desperate to get that pregnancy glow that everyone talks about! Two major products that helped me were the Sephora moisturizer which I mentioned in previous posts and Cetaphil Gentle Face Soap for a smooth wash in the shower. Sothys anti age cream was great to use at night once in a while. Sometimes I would do a hydrating face mask as well or the Rosy Cheeks mask from LUSH. Coconut infused lotion works wonderful for stretch marks…it really worked for me! I would apply it multiple times a day on my belly even before I started to show. I also used it on my hand s and feet…

BATH – When you’re pregnant you can still take baths, just not super hot ones..but a room temp/warm one tends to help you relax. This especially helps if you are having cramping which tends to be a problem throughout pregnancy. I love taking bubble baths! I usually poor in an oil scent like a rose or something floral.I have a collection of different oil infused scents. Who doesn’t like to smell nice?

NAILS – Since your hands and feet swell up ( sometimes not until the third trimester) it helps to keep them soft and manicured. Try using a foot scrub while you take a bath and then painting your nails and your toes ( if you can reach them! ) I wasn’t able to paint my toes during the third trimester… 😦 You can always go for a pedicure closer to your due date. I wanted to have nice nails for my due date so my hands look nice in pictures when I am holding the baby.

HAIR – I use a hair mask once in a while on these pamper days to make me feel more refreshed. You can read about my hair routine next week or read about my favorite hair mask here. 


Make sure to always take your vitamins during pregnancy!
After you are done pampering, it is nice to sit with a cup of tea in a fuzzy robe and cuddle up with your favorite book or movie. Sometimes I will prepare a platter of veggies and fruit to snack on afterwards.

Hope you enjoyed the read!

Stay beautiful!

  • N.J.