Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I have had the urge to write for quite some time now, but then life happened.

I’ve had several drafts ready to go regarding toddler stuff or fashion stuff but I had to simply just write about life as of lately and being a working mommy/wifey.

I’ve previously posted that I’m constantly riddled with working mommy/wife guilt.  Has it gotten better?  Nope, but it’s bearable.  I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it’ll never go away and that’s no one else’s fault but my own.  I shouldn’t feel bad about having to take care of my family whether that be financially or emotionally.  What matters is that I’m giving all that I can.

I have been quite busy at work for past 3 months.  That includes logging in time over the holidays.  Unfortunately, I have the opposite schedule of a tax accountant or a traditional auditor.  I do work for a public accounting firm; however, my busy season started at the end of September and doesn’t end until February.  There are weeks that are a little more slow-paced than others.  There are weeks that are intense but every week is different.  Every day is different.  I’d like to think that I’ve dealt with it all day by day, situation by situation.  The one thing that’s keeping me strong and empowered through all this, even if I am busy and overwhelmed, is my family.  My time with them is EXACTLY what I need to de-stress and calm down to push through the work week.  Sometimes I wish I could give more at home (Trying to control and do everything for them.  Be very Type A.), but frankly we’re happy, so why fix something that not broke.  Sure the laundry doesn’t get folded and put away immediately or the dishes pile up some days, but we’re fine.  The attention and love I give them is more than enough.  My husband has been the MOST amazing and supportive person.  When I start expressing my feelings of guilt, he tells me to stop because he’s not complaining nor is Eva.  He tells me to take the time to do what I need to.  And while I still feel guilt deep down at the pit of my stomach, that weight on my shoulder is lifted.  They are simply the best.

And while I previously said if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, I’m still trying to find the right schedule for me that doesn’t burn me out, carves out some me-time, keeps me productive at work and that works around my family’s schedule.  I want to have the energy (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) to be the best mommy/wifey/working professional that I can.  Sounds so idealistic right?  Of course, there are some things that need to give for that to happen.  Get more sleep, yet wake up early to workout and to get to work earlier.  Maybe lessen the time working at night after Eva’s goes down for bed (I try not to work at home until she’s asleep.  My poor husband, sometimes (not always) our QT gets invaded with work).  I’m getting there and realizing what works day by day.  I know nothing will ever be as perfect as I idealize, but as long as we’re all happy… I can’t ask for anything more.  They are my everything.

So in light of that, I’m going to deem this year to be gentler to myself.  My goal is not to be so hard on myself and while I’m better at that than when I was in my 20s, there’s still room for improvement.  Here’s to whatever makes us happy and having a healthy new year!

And with that said, I’m going to try to publish at least one post once a week this year.  Writing makes me happy.  Being creative makes me happy.  Cooking and being creative in the kitchen and sharing all that with you makes me happy.  I put this blog aside last year to figure out how working outside the home was working for me and my family.  I hope to post more than once a week, but I’m determine to have at least 52 posts up this year.  🙂  Until next week.

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Mommy Tales – Eating habits

I’m going to start a series here on the blog called Mommy Tales (I feel like I should be singing the Duck Tales theme song with this title.  LOL!).  I’ll be sharing and even documenting random things that I find intriguing, hilarious, puzzling, frustrating, etc. as a mom.  When Eva was younger, I used to write down random moments that made me smile like her first smile, laugh, steps, etc.  I did all of this using Color Notes on my phone and then like a fool I didn’t back-up my notes prior to resetting my phone.  :’-(

Today’s Mommy Tales are about eating habits.  My husband and I are your stereotypical asians that eat rice a majority of the time for dinner.  It’s no surpise that Eva loves rice… or bread or pasta for that matter.  (Side note;   I did a lot of carb eating when I was pregnant with her BUT I also drank a lot of green juice, which she thoroughly enjoys.  Balance!)  Because Eva doesn’t know how to cut her food with her utensils, I chop everything up into small pieces and mix whatever entree we’re having with rice so that with each bite she gets a little bit of veggies, meat, and rice.  Her bowl of food is mixed pretty well.  It can look unappetizing at times but she’s just happy she’s eating.  Anyways, this girl will take the time to fish out all the rice prior to eating any vegetables or meat on her plate/bowl.  And then ask for more rice before she’s even touched her vegetables or meat!  It’s like a scavenger hunt.  She will take her fingers or whatever utensils she has and move the vegetables or meat aside to find that perfect morsel of rice.

Picture of her bowl from last night.  We were having Sinigang (filipino sour soup made with either pork or shrimp or fish vegetables) and rice.

She’s not picky.  She’ll eat most of her food.  It just takes her longer because she’s picking out her favorite part of the dinner before eating the rest.  It can be funny and entertaining watching her do this but frustrating too because it takes her so long to eat her food.  Does anyone else’s kids do this?  Or is this just my child?

Nessas Loves – Beauty and Fashion

I should probably do a Valentines’ Day post, but for my longtime readers, you probably know we don’t do anything really big.  For the last 6 years (minus one year I was away for travel), the hubs has served up some yummy dinner and wine.  We try to stay away from the crowds on this day.  Last year, Eva was teeny tiny and fell asleep early so we were able to enjoy a romantic dinner.  This year she’s more rambunctious but thankfully her daycare does a “Parent’s night out” (for a fraction of the price of hiring a babysitter) and it so happened to be held TODAY!  We won’t be out til midnight, but we will be taking advantage of that and wait for it… GOING TO THE MOVIES!  And no we’re not watching anything romantic like Winter’s Tale.  We’ll be watching The Mounument’s Men.  Can’t wait.  We never go to the movies anymore, so this will be a great treat!  Then we’ll probably go to a bar or a diner and enjoy a later dinner.  No mainstream restaurants for us.  If you need ideas for Valentines, see my post from last year.

Onward with this post. So I haven’t done a Nessas Loves post lately.  I thought I’d share some of the products I’ve been loving these past several months.  We’re playing catch up here so I was going to break this up into two posts:  Beauty and Fashion and Mommy/baby/household loves.

BEAUTY

Nessa's Beauty Loves

Dove dry shampoo – This is so much better than the Tresseme dry shampoo.  It actually removes the oils from my hair and leaves it pretty voluminous.  Plus it doesn’t smell as bad.  I’ve tried Suave and L’Oreal Everstyle dry shampoos, which are better than Tresseme but not as effective as the Dove dry shampoo in my opinion.  The smell of the Suave dry shampoo is a bit too fruity and too strong for me.  The smell of the Dove dry shampoo is much more subtle.  The L’Oreal Everstyle dry shampoo was as close to the Dove dry shampoo; however, I do think it’s on the pricier end of drugstore dry shampoo and you don’t get as much product.  However, with that said, all these are cheaper alternatives to my trusty Stila Dry Shampoo.  What are you favorite dry shampoos?  Drugstore or high end?  I’ve been interested in trying out higher end dry shampoos, such as Bumble & Bumble’s Pret a Powder or Oribe (I heard it sprays clear).  I’m currently trying out Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo and it’s okay.  Again, not as great as Dove.  I’ll probably check out Pantene’s next.

Side note/tip:  As a mommy on the go, dry shampoo is my best friend on days that I don’t want to wash my hair and need to get out of the house quickly on days off or on work days.

Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick – While the hubs isn’t a fan of colored lips and won’t kiss me if I have anything but a nude lip on, I’m really loving colored lips.  The Lasting Finish Matte in 110 (Coral) and Lasting Finish in 01 (red) are gorgeous colors.  I’d love to try a fuschia color like MAC’s Candy YumYum, but I’m kind of worried how it would look on my lips.  I get really self concious when I wear a colored lip. This red and coral, well more so the red, is a bit bold for me, but I love the vampiness of it.

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters/Maybelline Color Sensational Whisper – I LOVE how moisturizing these feel.  I’m in love with Revlon’s Pink Truffle, which is a perfect my lips but better color (the appropriate color description would probably be nudish mauve), and Candy Apple which is a reddish orange.  I also love Maybelline’s Made-It Mauve.  I’m obsessed with a mauve lip because for me, it’s a my lips but better lip color, plus it’s very wearable for a conservative work environment.  But if I need to switch it up a sheer application of Candy Apple does the trick.

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain/ColorBurst Matte Balm – OBSESSED with THESE too.  I can’t help myself.  At any given time I have 2 of these in my purse plus 3 lip butters.  I love that it’s a jumbo stick so I can put it on like a lip pencil, plus it stains my lips and I don’t have to reapply for a couple of hours.  Of course, I have these in mauve (Honey for Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain and Sultry for ColorBurst Matte Balm), in addition to a red, plum and pink.  The Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stian is more hydrating than the Color Burst Matte Balm, but neither is as moisturizing as the Lip Butters.

Side note:  I know just talked about a ton of lip products, but as a mom sometimes I don’t have the time to take the extra 5-20 minutes to do my eye make up (yes it can take me that long to put together an eye look), so a quick fresh no make-up make-up look does the trick.  Add on a perfect lip color or a color punched lip and I’m out the door looking a tad less frumpy.  

Elf brow kit – I’m not being boastful here, but I was blessed with decent eyebrows.  Thankfully, plucking them in the 8th grade didn’t ruin the growth (My parents were SO MAD at me when they realized what I had done.  They were REALLY big on natural beauty even though I was going through my ugly duckling adolescent stage.  😦  But now that I have a daughter, I see where they’re coming from.   Oh the irony.).  Every for weeks, I get them shaped by my trusty aesthetician Danielle at The Green Room.  I try not to touch them, if possible, in between wax sesions.  While they’re a nicely shaped and relatively full, there are some days I do need to color them in, depending on how much make up I have on.  The Elf brow kit matches my hair color right (I got it ombre’d last summer!) now; not to mention, you can’t beat $3.  However, when I don’t have this in arms reach I use a dark brown eyeshadow.

NYC Bronzer – Previous to finding this bonzer, I was using a darker foundation as a bronzer as I wanted a matte yet natural bronzed and contoured look.  I heard YouTube Gurus raving about the NYC bronzer, so I figured I’d give it a try.  And at a $2 price point, why not?!?  I’m so happy I did.  It gives me just the right amount of natural glow.

Benetint – When you open this up, its a bit daunting to use because its a very liquid red formula.  If you work fast enough, it’s relatively easy to use.  I love it because it gives that natural flush look.

Side note: anyone noticing a trend with my natural makeup holy grails?  😉  

Real Techniques expert face brush – I love how flawless my foundation looks when using this brush.  I’m really interested in trying the other brushes in this line.  They’re decent quality and pricepoint.  Definitely alternatives to MAC or Sigma brushes.

Cle de peau concealer – Previously, I was using the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer, but I noticed that my undereyes were still looking dark.  After testing other drugstore products and the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, I bit the bullet and tried something highend.  Youtube gurus, magazines, etc. raved about this concealer so I bought it.  You see, when you’re a mom, who is dealing with a child who is teething, sick, going through some major change, etc. and is not sleeping well, concealer is your best friend in the morning.  I LOVE this.  It highlights yet conceals like a dream!  I can fake not looking tired!  The Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer is wonderful; however, it was a bit too heavy and creamy for me.  I still use it on days I don’t have the Cle de peau nearby.

FASHION

Nessa's Fashion loves

Philip Lim by Target purse – Yes, this purse has been out for a while, but I still LOVE IT.  I can fit my laptop in here and still have room for so much more!  So spacious… maybe too spacious sometimes because I have trouble finding stuff.  😛

Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote – Yes, I’ve talked about this in my baby’s first year essentials post.  I actually need to get a new one.  I’ve had mine for the last 4 years and it’s starting to show some evidence of wear and tear on the bottom.  But that’s what’ll happen when you use it as a diaper bag, an overnight bag, and a laptop bag.  I love how versatile it is, compact, and its so easy to clean.

Madewell leopard flats – I’ve been SEARCHING for leopard flats to replace my Target leopard ballet flats.  It took me a while to find THE pair.  I wasn’t happy with the texture of the leopard spots or the color or the shape of the shoes I was finding.  Finally, I came across these and Madewell was having a sale on shoes PLUS an extra 40% off.  SCORE!  They’re the perfect neutral alternative to a black, brown, or nude shoe.

Alex and Ani Bracelets – I LOVE these.  My SIL got the E and I initial bangles for my birthday and completed the set with a V for Christmas.  While my husband has gifted me with lovely jewelry in the past that I still wear, I wanted something in my jewelry collection that would represent our little family.

DogEared Initial Necklace – I was thinking about getting a necklace with Eva’s name on it for myself; however, I’m so paranoid about that stuff.  (Blame my mom and the news for all the stories of kids getting snatched because their name was on their backpack or shirt  I wish I was kidding.  That plus SVU gets me all paranoid.)  So instead I asked for a DogEared necklace with the Initial E and was gifted it from my sister for Christmas.

RoseGold Sideways cross – I don’t think I’ve shared this with you, but my sister got this for me last christmas.  She’s always getting me necklaces, which I’m so happy about it.  I LOVE THEM ALL.  She actually got me a Virginia pendant (similar here), so home is close to my heart.  😉  I made that up not her.  She’s not that corny.  🙂

So we’ve caught up with my beauty and fashion loves as of lately.  Stay tuned in the next couple of days for my mommy/baby/household favorites post.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!