Our Birth Story

It makes me laugh out loud knowing that mine and my husbands last date night as just a family of two was spent at Waffle House and going to see ’50 Shades of Grey’!

It was Sunday morning, February 15th, and I had gotten up out of bed. I did my morning ritual (waddle my pregnant butt to the bathroom to pee). As I was walking back into the bedroom I noticed a little leak. So I ran back to the toilet and then the small gush happened! I went downstairs to my unexpected husband and laughed, “Um, my water just broke.” His response was classic: “What?! Are you serious?! Are you serious?!” I called my doctor to make sure it was okay to head to the hospital. She said to head on over! But first, I naturally did what any other makeup artist would do, I did my hair and makeup so I looked presentable when I finally got to meet my daughter (Yea, that didn’t happen but you’ll see why soon!).

We arrived at the hospital around 1pm. I was starting to have mild contractions about 5 minutes apart. They weren’t painful so I was feeling excited! We got checked in and was told after I was checked that my water had, in fact, broken. I was only 1 centimeter dilated so I was put on pitocin to get things moving along. Hours went by and the nurses had to keep elevating my pitocin drip because my cervix wasn’t dilating. Finally sometime between 8pm and 9pm that night the doctor came in and had a plan of action. She wanted to insert a Foley catheter to help my cervix dilate and take me off of the pitocin until 5am the next morning. I won’t go into much detail of the catheter but I will say that I would not wish that pain on my worst enemy. It was the worst thing I’ve ever felt in my life. Poor Matt had no clue what to do except hold my hand in horror! Once it was inserted, I was allowed to eat one last meal. Little did I know at the time that it would be well over another 24 hours before I would be eating again. I tried as best as I could to sleep until my 5am wakeup call to find out how much I had dilated. I found out I got up to 4 centimeters. Not great, but progress.

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*I undoubtedly HATE this picture of me but I couldn’t help but laugh because I’m 32 years old and still sleep with Simba! Also, I was so swollen by this time because of all of the IV fluids being pumped into me.*20150217_024239

I decided to go ahead and get the epidural that morning around 11am. The contractions were still bearable but I was told by multiple mama’s to go ahead and get it before they got intense. When the anesthesiologist came in and had me lay in the fetal position on my side, I remember thinking it was a little strange because I thought I was suppose to lean over on the side of the bed. For the next few hours, I would have my cervix checked every 2 hours or so and I would slowly be dilating a centimeter here and there. My parents came by as well as my best friend Lauren and Vivian’s future bestie Chloe came by to visit. I thought it was bizarre because all moms that have had an epidural said that I would feel an immediate relief. I never did. I was still feeling my contractions. I let the nurses know and they told me I’d have to have a new one inserted. I wasn’t looking forward to it because I honestly thought the first one hurt quite a bit. When a different anesthesiologist came in and had me sit on the side of the bed, I was so relieved. That epidural was exactly how it should’ve been from the beginning! He must have thought I was nuts because all I could do was thank him over and over again!

Around 10pm Monday night, I was getting so discouraged and was completely worn out. I had been in labor for 36 hours by that point. My blood pressure was good and stable and so was Vivian’s heart rate. So my doctor checked me around 11pm and I was up to 9 centimeters and 80% effaced. She came back in around 1:45am-2am TUESDAY morning and checked me one final time. I hadn’t progressed any. She simply asked if I could still keep going or was I done. I told her I was done. I wanted a c-section. Within 30 minutes I was wheeled off into the operating room and given a heavier dose of the epidural to get me fully numb from the waist down.

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All I could do was shake. I was so nervous to be cut open but so happy to finally deliver my sweet girl. Matt was then escorted into the room before “things got real”. He was my hero. He rubbed my head and just told me how much he loved me and how great I was doing. Finally, the doctor spoke up and told me that I would feel a lot of pressure and that they were taking her out. The pressure was no joke! At 2:47am Tuesday February 17th I heard the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard in my life… My baby girl let out a cry. Matt and I just cried together and laughed! I could barely see her because of how I was draped and where she was so I asked Matt to go be with her. After finally cleaning her up and getting her checked out Matt brought her over to me. She was the most beautiful and perfect little thing I’d ever laid eyes on. All 7lbs 1oz of her!

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Vivi meeting Nana for the first time!

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I love this picture of these two!

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Proud Papa!

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Meeting her new BFF Chloe! She was so gentle!

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My mom always told me that I wouldn’t understand the love she has for me until I have my own child. And now I do. I really do!

Xoxo

She’s Here!!!

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA the past week or so. As you can see, I’ve been a little busy! ;) Meet Vivian Grace Lombardi. Born February 17th, 2015 at 2:47am. 7lbs 1oz and 19 and a half inches long. I am in pure heaven with our little girl. I promise to be back on the blog in the next week or so! Being a new mommy is no joke so we are just trying to settle in at home and once we get into a good groove, I’ll be sharing LOTS of pictures and her ever so long birth story!

Thank you to everyone for all of the sweet words and support since she was born. It means the world to Matt and I. And now, let me introduce my daughter, little Vivi!

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Valentine’s Day Beauty

I don’t normally get to spend actual Valentine’s Day with my husband because he’s already down in Daytona getting ready for the Daytona 500. But this year is different because we’re impatiently waiting for our daughter to arrive! The only thing I can do for myself these days is wash and style my hair and put my makeup on to make myself feel halfway decent. And even that’s a bit of a chore! But this Valentine’s Day, I plan to get the top half of my body ready for a low key date with the hubs!

Today I’m sharing with you my favorite Valentine’s Day beauty products that will work for everyone!! Even if you’re single and having a fun night out with your girlfriends, you’ll love these products to make you feel super girly!

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1. Eyes: Always start with the eyes! This way, you can easily wipe away any shadow fall out with a makeup remover or you could even use your favorite face primer (This one is my favorite) to remove the fallout. That way you’re killing two birds with one stone!

* Prime – My all time favorite is MAC Painterly Paint Pot. Your eye makeup will stay in place all day/night.

* Shadows – I’m obsessed with this Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette. I love all of the cool shades! The pinks and plums will make a great smokey Valentine’s Day look!

* Liner – You can’t go wrong with an ink liner. And this Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is by far my favorite because of it’s pigment and ease of getting that winged look.

* Mascara – Right now I’m loving Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. It adds a ton of length and volume!

 

2. Complexion: After finishing my eyes and cleaning up the shadow fallout and setting my skin with my face primer I start on my foundation.

* Foundation – I’m a sucker for a medium to full coverage foundation. And during the colder months I love Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. It’s so creamy and moisturizing. Not to mention it stays put all day long!

* Concealer – My go-to concealer is MAC Prolong Wear Concealer in NW15 but I for an extra, subtle highlight I will mix in Bare Minerals Stroke Of Light Eye Brightener and apply it with my beauty blender. If ya’ll don’t have one, get a beauty blender!! It blends concealer so nicely!!

* Setting Powder – Since it’s winter and I’m using a little heavier foundation I like to set my powder with a translucent powder. My all-time favorite is Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. It settles into the skin as opposed to sitting on top of it like most loose powders.

 

3. Cheeks: Next step is cheeks!

* Contouring – I just bought this Too Faced Cocoa Contour Kit and am loving it so far! The two contouring colors are perfect for every skin color. I use Medium Cocoa to contour my cheeks and nose and use Dark Cocoa to bronze the top of my forehead and under my chin and neck. The Pop of Light highlighting powder is amazing because it’s so subtle but when the light hits it, it brings out your cheekbones like none other!

* Contouring Brush – If you want the best contour, INVEST in the Nars Ita Brush! Trust me, you won’t regret it!!

* Blush – My go-to pink blush has always been Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface. It’s predominantly matte but has a bit of a satin finish to it once applied. This blush will last you forever because a little bit goes a long way.

 

4. Lips: Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a gorgeous bright pink lipstick!!

* Lip Liner – I’ll fill in my entire upper and bottom lips with MAC Lipliner in Candy Yum Yum. Filling them in completely will help keep your lipstick looking fresh for a hours!

* Lipstick – My BFF Lauren turned me onto this lipstick! And I LOVE using it on brides! It’s what matches the liner, MAC Candy Yum Yum. I love wearing it when I use more pinks and plums on my eyes. It ties it all together!

 

5. Set: After spending so much time getting ready, it’s so important to set your makeup. The absolute best product to use is Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. Trust me, your makeup will NOT MOVE!!!

 

I hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day! And I hope I’ve helped give you so ideas of changing up your go-to beauty look!

 

Xoxo

I’m Ready… Or Am I?

In exactly 10 days from today, my baby girl is due to arrive. As February 19th approaches, I get more and more terrified. Not because I’m about to push out a human being out of my vagina but because my life is about to drastically change forever. Ever since I can remember I’ve always felt like my main purpose in life is to be a mom. To have my own family is all I’ve ever wanted. But now that it’s almost here, I’m terrified. I’m 32 years old so why do I feel like this? Is this feeling normal? Do other first time moms get this anxiety? Shouldn’t I be in a constant state of excitement to meet my sweet girl?!

All in all, we are ready for Vivian to come home. Everything is in it’s place. My husband, God bless him, is so excited and calm. But here I am, a nervous wreck! On the outside I’m ready. But on the inside, am I?

* What if my breast milk doesn’t come in?

* What if my sweet girl isn’t a happy baby?

* What if she grows up to hate me?!

* Will I literally go crazy the first few weeks when I’m sleep deprived?!

* Will I ever have a good nights sleep again?!

* Will I ever be able to be selfish again? And if so, does that make me a bad person?!

* What if I don’t make my husband proud?

* What if I can’t do it all?

Little Vivi has been incredibly active in my belly the past couple of weeks and I’m mesmerized by it! Those are the times that fear and anxiety go away. I’m all of a sudden filled with a love I’ve never felt before. All for this little miracle that I’m about to meet in less than 2 weeks. Watching her stretch and dance in my belly makes me daydream about the wonderful times. The wonderment of who she’ll look like, the first smiles and giggles, the first steps, the first words, the family vacations, the snuggles, the dressing up, the daddy-daughter dates, and most importantly the love that is going to burst out of my heart every time I look at that perfect little girl my husband and I made.

So to answer my own question, am I ready? I don’t think one can ever be truly ready for such a change. But deep down I know I’ll survive and do the absolute best I can. And I know that the the very first time my daughter and I lock eyes, those selfish fears will go away…..

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Xoxo

38 Weeks Pregnancy Survey

I’m so sorry that I’ve been MIA this week! I’ve had a rough, exhausting week. I’m still not 100% (and I don’t think I will be until Vivian arrives) but I wanted to write at the very least, one post this week. *sigh*

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I celebrated with a super yummy mocktail!

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What a great weekend I had this past week! I spent it with my husband of ONE year celebrating in Uptown Charlotte at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse. We also stayed the night at a hotel so it felt like we were away somewhere. Since moving to Charlotte back in 1986, that was my first time staying uptown! Isn’t that crazy?! Matt and I spent our anniversary (Super Bowl Sunday) decked out in our Patriots attire with our good friends. Matt was convinced I’d go into labor during the game but thank God, I didn’t! What an AWESOME ending! And I felt so proud because the team that my husband lives and breathes for won the Super Bowl for the 4th time on OUR wedding anniversary! It was the perfect ending to our day.

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We busted out the top of our wedding cake and I must say, it was just as delicious as it was one year ago!

Week: 38 weeks!

Total weight gain: 50 POUNDS!! I swear a lot of it is water weight because I’m literally swollen everywhere now.

Maternity Clothes/Baby Clothes: Gosh no!! I have 2 more weeks or less so buying clothes is the last thing on my mind.

Stretch Marks: No new ones thank goodness.

Sleep: What’s that?! I’ve broken out all over my body in a pregnancy rash (PUPPP – Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy) so I’ve been miserable. I’ve been taking Benadryl the past couple of days and it’s helped with the itching but I’ve been so drowsy and sleepy that I sleep pretty much all day and I’m awake all night.

Miss Anything? I miss everything that was so easy pre-pregnancy. Being able to jump out of bed, off the couch, or simply getting out of the car. I miss the ability to cross my legs, smile super big (my face is so swollen and puffy), and be able to sit comfortably for longer than 5 minutes at a time. And most of all I miss being able to hold “it” if I have to pee!

Movement: All. The. Time. But I can’t complain. I love to watch my belly and try to picture what position she’s in and which part of her body I’m seeing. Sometimes she’ll stretch really big and it gets uncomfortable so what I’ll do is lean over and “ssshh” to her until she stops. Ya’ll, it works!!!

Food Cravings: I haven’t really “craved” anything the past couple of weeks. Since Vivian is at full capacity, I can eat only a little bit at a time.

Gender: I think you all know by now!

Labor Signs: I still have Braxton Hicks on and off. But they aren’t painful so my doctor told me not to worry about them. At my checkup this past Tuesday she said that my cervix has thinned out a lot and she could feel her head! But I’m still not dilated so I’m not expecting baby girl to come this week. =(

Symptoms: Swelling all over and acid reflux.

Mood/Hormonal “Episodes”: I literally almost cried when the Patriots intercepted the ball at the end of the game on Sunday! But other than that, not really.

Looking Forward To: Meeting Vivian!

Xoxo

A Super Bowl Anniversary!

One year. ONE year! I’ve been with Matt for 8 years now but this year has been the sweetest of them all. February 1, 2015 we’ll be spending our one year anniversary cheering on the Patriots in the Super Bowl! Honestly, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing on Sunday. It’s US. It’s what we do! People may not understand it, and that’s okay. We’re unique. We’re US.

 

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To my husband, you’re the most wonderful human being I know. You’re my best friend, my love, my life, my everything. I love you more today than the day I married you. I can’t wait to spend this next year watching you become a daddy. Our daughter is the luckiest little girl in the world to have you as her father. I love you! Now onto the important stuff…… GO PATS!!!!

*I thought I’d share a little outfit of choice that I’d be wearing if I didn’t have our daughter cooking in my belly! I hope everyone has a GREAT Super Bowl Sunday! Ours will be one for the books!

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One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven

Xoxo

Top 5 Skincare Products For Cold Weather

I’d say it’s safe to say that baby, it’s cold outside! During the colder months, it’s smart to switch up your skincare routine as your skin tends to dry out. Here are my top 5 products for the cold weather!

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1. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser $20 – I’ve been using this cleanser for a couple of months now and I love it! It’s a gentle cream cleanser that removes all surface oils, makeup, and dirt. I love the creamy consistency for these colder months because it doesn’t leave my face feeling parched after I cleanse. This is a good year-round cleanser but I included it in this list because it’s especially great for the winter!

2. Aveda Green Science Firming Eye Creme $47 – I’ve been obsessed with this product since my days in esthetics school at the Aveda Institute in St. Petersburg, FL. In my opinion, it’s probably the best eye creme on the market. This eye creme is infused with organic argan oil, ladies thistle, and cactus formula to help smooth fine lines. It also has caffeine which is the best ingredient for correcting dark circles!

3. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask $25 – This moisturizer was my savior last year when I started on Epiduo for my adult acne and my skin was incredibly dry and flaky from the medication and cold weather. This intense moisture replacement mask with Avocado and Apricot Kernel Oil deeply and instantly quenches compromised moisture reserves and builds a reservoir for tomorrow. Japanese Seaweed repairs skin’s barrier to prevent future dehydration and signs of premature aging. Not to mention, the price point is nice!

4. Aveda Hand Relief $24 – Hands down (pun intended!) the best moisturizer for your hands! The past couple of weeks I’ve slowly broken out in patches of eczema. I can’t tell if it’s pregnancy hormones or the cold weather. Or it could be a combination of the two! But Hand Relief has been the only thing that has calmed the delicate skin on the back of my hands all the way up my arms. The fact that it smells heavenly makes it that much more luxurious! Yes y’all, I use the words heavenly and luxurious in my everyday vocabulary!

5. Laura Mercier illuminating Broad Spectrum Tinted Moisturizer $43 – I love to wear this tinted moisturizer when my skin is dry because it gives it a luminous glow so it covers those flaky, dry patches. It’s also beautiful to wear without a setting powder. Just make sure you apply a primer on beforehand so it stays put. The best thing about wearing a tinted moisturizer in the winter is that it serves many purposes. Coverage, moisture, and luminosity!

Xoxo

36 Weeks Pregnancy Survey

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Baby girl has DEFINITELY dropped! You can see in the background we’ve already packed our hospital bags!

Week: 36 weeks!

Total weight gain: I’ve only gained a pound since last week so I believe the grand total is 45lbs…..Oh boy!

Maternity Clothes/Baby Clothes: Surprisingly no and no. Vivian has a ton of clothes now and since I’ve gotten so big, I pretty much wear the same 5 articles of clothing all the time. My signature staples are my black leggings, my Under Armour long sleeve T’s (wearing one above. They aren’t maternity but stretch well and are so comfortable!), Tom’s, and Soma nursing bras. Sexy huh?!

Stretch Marks: These puppies won’t fade until after I deliver. I’ve grown to just accept the things I can not change…..

Sleep: Well, Vivian has definitely dropped in the past few days so it’s a lot easier to breath and sleeping has gotten a little better. I still wake up every couple of hours to pee but I’m able to fall back to sleep pretty quickly.

Miss Anything? Exercising! God, I never thought I’d say that but I do! And I miss a good, fruity martini!

Movement: I believe she’s running out of room in my belly because I can feel everything! Literally everything! She even has woken me up a few times with all of the rolling and stretching!

Food Cravings: Donuts!!! I made Matt stop at Dunkin Donuts on his way home from work 2 nights in a row this week!

Gender: I think you all know by now!

Labor Signs: I’m having Braxton Hicks on and off. They’ve actually started to have a dull, achy feeling so I’m assuming my body is almost ready. Yay!! Matt and I took a childbirth class at the hospital I’ll be delivering at this past Saturday and it helped me feel a little more prepared for what to really expect. But I’m such a hypochondriac with this pregnancy that I still always have the thought, “Is this it?!”

Symptoms: Swelling hands, feet, and nose. And of course, exhaustion.

Mood/Hormonal “Episodes”: Nope, thank goodness!

Looking Forward To: Still can’t wait to spend the weekend with my husband on our first wedding anniversary! He better have something good planned! ;)

Xoxo

Historic Langtree Plantation Wedding

Last month I had the privilege to work on an amazingly gorgeous styled shoot photographed by the talent Erin Kranz Photography. It was a rainy, overcast day but that didn’t stop the pro’s! When I pulled up and saw the beautiful florals, the accessories, the dresses, I knew exactly the look I wanted to do on the model. The colors were vibrant cranberry, green, white, silver, with a mix of rustic woods. The model had beautiful blue eyes so I wanted to keep them very simple (I didn’t even use lashes, ya’ll!) with a light pink matte shadow on the lid, soft brown in the crease, no eyeliner, and light sweep of mascara. I wanted to use the cranberry color in her makeup so I used MAC Cosmetics ‘New York Apple’ lipstick for her lips. With a bit of contouring and light plum blush, she was ready to go!

The photo’s came out so beautiful! It makes me want to get married all over again just so I can have a wedding just like it!

Thank you to all of the vendors involved! It was truly a spectacular shoot!!

Styling & coordination: A Simple Affair Events
Venue: Historic Langtree Plantation
Florist: Willow Branch Flowers & Design
Headpiece & accessories: Aubre’s Bridal
Hair: Darnell Designs
Makeup: Peaches & Glitter
Dresses: Penlorée Atelier
Cake: Sky’s the Limit! Custom Cakes & More
Stationary: Smitten on Paper
Groom’s attire: Taylor Richards & Conger

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Xoxo

Makeup Fail!

 

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Let’s face it, we’ve ALL had a makeup fail! Even me! The fun thing about makeup is that it’s trial and error. You can play with different looks to see what best suits you. I wanted to share with you today my biggest makeup fail. It’s one that I am VERY passionate about and don’t want you to make the same mistake.

With YouTube makeup tutorial videos nowadays it’s so easy to recreate a look from one of your favorite artists. I watch them all the time to get inspiration! But one thing that I notice that a lot of artists do that I can’t stand is setting their under-eye concealer with a highlighting powder from a contour kit. The most popular highlighting powders these artists use are Anastasia Beverly Hills highlighting shade in Banana and MAC Cosmetics Shaping Powder in Emphasize. Highlighting powders have microfine, soft focus technology that accentuates the high planes of the face. They’re meant to bring those areas forward. They go great in conjunction with sculpting powders. The main places that you should highlight on your face are your cheek bones, brow bone, bridge of your nose, and cupids bow of your lips.

Yes, in theory using these powders to set your concealer makes sense. Most peoples skin under their eyes are darker so using a lighter concealer and setting it with a highlighting powder will take the focus off of the darkened area. In certain light it will brighten that area. But what these artists forget about is the flash from a camera when being photographed. Once that camera flashes, all you see is white under the eyes. Here’s an (I hate this picture of me but it was taken the same night as the photo below and shows exactly what I’m talking about!) example of what I’m talking about:

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Do you see how white my under-eyes are compared to the rest of my skin?! I look ridiculous! But hey, I’m only human. I tried a look, it didn’t work, and I learned my lesson! The best thing you can do to correct this makeup fail is use a concealer under your eyes that is a shade lighter than your natural skin tone. My favorite concealer right now is MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Concealer. A little half pump of this goes a long way! And then I’ll apply it with a wet Beauty Blender. Once it’s blended well, I will then set it with my all-over setting powder that is the same shade as my skin and foundation. A little bit of the lighter shade of the concealer pops through so my dark circles are hidden. The setting powder doesn’t have the soft focus technology that a highlight powder does so when you take photos, you won’t look like a raccoon like I did!

I hope you don’t make the same mistake I did! Trust me, it never turns out well! What have been your makeup fails?!

 

Xoxo

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