Monday, June 27, 2016

Endless Glow by Jenn--Spray Tan Review {Meridian, Boise, Nampa}

Something you may not know about me is that while I'm pretty "crunchy" in some ways, I'm not in others. In fact, there are some ways I'm far from that path and one of those ways is in tanning. While some crunchy folks actually support spending time in the sun, I'm not sure any of them  would support time spent in a tanning bed. That's precisely where I spent most of my twenties. I loved being tan, I loved the warmth, I loved all of it. It was like an addiction. Until Zach asked me to stop because he was concerned about my health.

Now my tan usually comes from time spent outside which is not always in my control now that I'm a mom. I certainly can't lay out on my back for x amount of minutes and then flip over for x amount of minutes anymore. I had never tried spray tanning. It just didn't seem like the right solution for me--especially since so many people I knew who'd done it were orange after the fact. 

A friend of mine contacted me about a spray tan business she runs out of her home. She's been flourishing in it which is so exciting to me. It's airbrush spray tanning and it looks so natural. I really wanted to have a healthy looking tan for my thesis defense in mid June and decided to see what her business was all about. I'm going to tell you a bit about the process below, but these pictures speak for themselves. 

The before picture was literally taken the day before at my brother's wedding--I was clearly spending a bit too much time indoors. I got my spray tan on a Saturday night and the after picture was taken after church on Sunday--less than 24 hours after my tan, but I had showered and gotten ready for the day. The next picture was us 4 days later in Washington D.C. on a family vacation (slash work trip for me). You can see that there was still a lot of color on my skin after 4 days--traveling, spending time in humidity, and showering each day. I'll get into a little more detail in a Q and A below and then direct you to Jenn's website and Instagram account, but to say that I was pleased was a drastic understatement. I looked at myself in the mirror the morning after my tan and I loved it so much. My body just looked and felt so good--I hadn't seen it that dark in ages. And it is true what they say--the best solution for cellulite is a tan. TRUTH!

So some questions I've gotten:

Where did she do it?
My tan tech, Jenn, has a small room dedicated to her airbrush tanning in her own home. It was very private and professional. For the actual tan, I stood in a tent while she airbrushed me and I felt very comfortable. 

Does it really look natural?
Yes, it really really does. I wouldn't have done this two days before defending my thesis if I hadn't a). seen it myself on Jenn and others she had done tans for and b). trusted Jenn. She is someone I've known for a while and I didn't think she'd do anything to make me feel silly or look bad--in fact, I knew she was dedicated to making me look and feel my best and that was the truth. When I came to my parents house for Sunday dinner the next day, my brother and his new wife thought that I had just gotten really dark from spending so much time outside at their wedding! HA! This is an airbrush tan and it is done so well. My tan tech had me stand and position myself in different ways to make sure I got every area of my body covered evenly. This is such a natural looking tan-I was very impressed and beyond pleased. 

How long did it last?
I didn't notice any real fading until 7 days after the tan. I didnt' exercise every day like I normally do because I was out of town. But we were in Washington D.C. and it was humid and we walked a lot so I still did sweat quite a bit. After 7 days it started to come off in sections and looked a bit spotty. It took about 10-11 days to disappear completely, though I'm sure if I had exfoliated I could have sped up the process. 

How much does it cost?
Prices can be found here, but there is a special discount for first time customers!

Do I have to get naked?
No, you don't have to get naked, but you could if I wanted. If you really must know--I did not get naked. I didn't feel it was necessary for the effect I wanted, but I'm not lying in telling you I would have felt totally comfortable being naked. Instead, I wore a bra and underwear and removed the straps when Jenn tanned my upper body. You can get dressed to your comfort level and I believe her when she says she's seen it all, but she's not looking--she's just trying to get the tan right. 

Now that you've gotten some answers, please give Jenn a visit and see what this is all about. I can't recommend this little service enough--it's definitely gone on my wish list for gifts from my family and I am definitely already planning my next airbrush tan!

Jenn lives in the Treasure Valley, but sells products to help you achieve a tan at home as well--and she sometimes travels with her tanning supplies--be sure to follow her on Instagram for the latest deals and details. 

Have you ever gotten a spray tan? What has your experience been like? What questions/apprehensions do you have?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

About Sharing

I know I haven't been on this space very much lately--or really at all. Truth is: 1. Life is really busy right now, but it's a good busy and I'm happy to be so busy that I don't really have time for this because...2. I'm still not sure what I want this space to be or if I want to use it at all. I think I've decided that blogging to be a blogger is not for me (maybe more on that later). But blogging to connect with people has blessed my life helped me create/find friendships and I love that aspect. Not to mention, I do enjoy putting down my thoughts and keeping them as a journal. I have the writings from my first blog which basically chronicle the first 3-ish years of our marriage and I love it so much. Anyway, that's a topic for another day. 

But if you are here and if you are reading, I would like to just talk about this. It seems the moms that have more experience are always willing to give me some input on these topics and I wanted to see if we could discuss sharing

The older JaiseAnn gets, the more I notice two things happening: she has become far less willing to share (and cares much more about the things she's playing with) and she's expected to share by those around us. 

For a while, my gut reaction anytime there was a "toy issue"was to tell JaiseAnn to "share" which basically meant JaiseAnn giving up the toy since there's no way she knows how to play with the same toy with someone else yet and not all toys are multiple person toys anyway. After spending some time working in the nursery at church, I started to see a problem with the knee jerk reaction to demand that she (or any kid) "share." Then we had an experience a few weeks ago with family where sharing became a topic that Zach and I discussed a little more fully and man, it's this topic is a bit more complicated than I had expected for raising 2-year-old. Some of the things that our recent experience higlighted:

*Sharing shouldn't be required in every situation.
If JaiseAnn's playing with something and someone else comes and takes it away from her and she cries (or comes and destroys what she's playing with/building and she cries) it's okay for her to cry and it is not requisite that she share. The same goes for if someone else is doing something and she comes and takes it away or destroys their play activity--she should be the one reprimanded. We won't expect that child to share with her. 

*It's okay to teach her to have and respect boundaries. We feel that it's okay for her to learn boundaries such as: if someone is playing with something and you want it, you wait your turn.(If someone else is playing with someone or doing something she wants to do and she interferes or starts getting aggressive, I will tell her it's not her turn--I will not teach her to expect someone else to share.)  If you're playing with something and someone wants it, it's okay to continue playing but it would be nice to take turns. She should not be disciplined for crying when someone takes something away from her (it's crazy how many people think that taking a toy out of a kids hand and then that kid crying or grabbing it back is a sign that she's an "only child" or that she "really must not like to share." Because quite honestly, I would be totally ticked if someone took something away from me that I had first, but that rarely happens because that's not how the world works generally--most adults do respect boundaries. I'm not sure my daughter should learn any different.) 

*Age matters. This is perhaps one of the most difficult concepts to teach such a young child, but at her age, even a few months make a difference. The younger the child, the less they understand boundaries-the older the child the more sense these things makes. JaiseAnn has a 7-month old baby cousin who likes to get into her toys and she doesn't like it. In this situation, I try to explain to JaiseAnn that "he's just a baby and he just wants to play." This seems to make a tiny bit of sense to her, but say an 18-month old is a bit more confusing to her, but I still think she's able to reason more than an 18 month old so I try to take those opportunities to teach her and I expect less from the 18 month old. 

This whole sharing thing is actually really tricky. While I think sharing does teach her to be kind and giving, it's not really that mandatory for learning to be a good person. When toys are involved however, by nature kids need to learn to share to keep the peace. Every situation isn't a "sharing situation" though-or at least that's how it seems to me.  I know there are a lot of parents who declare they won't be teaching their children to share--period. I'm not one of those, but I'm finding that trying to bandaid conflict with children with "just share" doesn't really teach my daughter some of the more important things I want her to learn. Sharing is a huge part of childhood--and it's a huge part of the societal expectation in social situations with kids--so I feel that I should start approaching this the way I see best now even though she's young. Basically I love discussing boundaries lately (seriously, I had this whole revelation about boundaries on an online discussion about teaching for one of my new jobs and now I talk about boundaries a lot), but I feel that teaching JaiseAnn to have and  respect boundaries with something as simple as toys is a much more important life lesson.

So now I want to hear from you! Do you think that kids should be expected to share at all times and in every situation? If so, why? If you don't, how do you handle this (or suggest someone handle it) in social situations where someone else expects your child to share when you don't feel it's right? How do you explain this to your kids? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SHARING? I want to hear it all!

Monday, June 6, 2016

One Little Word: June {Link-Up}

Today I'm linking up with Aubrey, Suzanna, and Ashley. May was a whirlwind of stress for me. We're talking stress headaches about every other day and a severe lack of sleep (due to insomnia) by the end of the month. The next two weeks are going to be crazy for June and so I'm trying to set more reasonable goals while still pushing myself to MAKE this year what I want it to be. 

You can see how I did on my May goals here. 

*Buy curtain rods and hang curtains 
*Have a garage sale and/or get rid of a bunch of stuff in the garage
*Organize JaiseAnn's baby clothes into space bags

*Make a second bird feeder for backyard and buy and hang a hummingbird feeder, too
*Finish JaiseAnn's baby books 
* 2 play dates
*Father's Day activities for Dad and Grandpa's (maybe just cards to keep it simple)
*Sign JaiseAnn up for swimming lessons

*Do something fun and different for date night
*Go on an actual date night
*Play a card or board game together one night

*No refined sugar treats
*No eating after JaiseAnn goes to bed with the exception of one night per week.
*70,000 steps per week
*Get a massage 
*Schedule a dentist appointment

*Write a conference schedule 
*Share conference schedule on blog
*Nusery Father's Day activity
*Put up a new scripture to reflect on on the fridge

*Defend thesis
*Revise and submit final approved version of thesis
*Complete trainings for two part-time work-from-home jobs for next year. 

What are your goals for June? Link up and share with us! 

May Goals: How Did I Do?

May was in insanely busy month for us. It included me finalizing my thesis, taking a trip to visit family (and having the best time), and making a lot of plans for the upcoming weeks. I have outlined my goals below and noted whether or not I was able to accomplish them. 

One thing I did this month was write these goals here and not anywhere else-usually I make a hard copy, too. I need to make a hard copy for June to see if that helps improve my results. You can see that I didn't do too hot in May. 

*Buy curtain rods and hang curtains Wow, this is taking me forever. I've added it to my actual planner for June and hopefully it will happen. 
*JaiseAnn's room (pillows, blankets, letter "J," hang blessing dress) Ha, well--JaiseAnn has a makeshift blanket/pillow situation, but I have done nothing else. This will have to get addressed later
*Print off pictures from our trip to Seattle (before JaiseAnn was born) and Charleston (before we were married) to add to our gallery wall in the kitchen Well, one fourth of this got done. I printed our picture from Seattle-I cannot find Charleston. Hopefully I'll remember to revisit the Charleston one in a few months. 

*Buy bird food and hang bird feeder (make a second feeder) hang humminbird feeder, too
*Finish JaiseAnn's baby books This is becoming a joke. 
*Peppa Pig activity I don't feel bad about missing this one. We did plenty of crafty stuff in May. 
* 2 play dates

*Do something fun and different for date night I'm pretty sure we didn't go on an actual date out by ourselves in May and if we did it was to dinner. We didn't do anything original at home either
*Do something intentionally thoughtful for Zach each week Maybe? Although if I'm not sure, I probably didn't, right? I do know I at least accomplished this for one week. 
*Time with Zach each night
*Play a card or board game together one night Nope

*No refined sugar treats  Until Mother's Day I did great
*Eliminate nighttime snacking Nope
*Strength training 2 times per week (while getting in the habit) 
*Find a deal on a bike trailer for my Mother's day gift I have yet to use it, but I found a great deal and am really excited about it. 
*Reduce body checking behaviors to twice a week (I want to get this number to zero someday--sooner than later. I am embarrassed to admit this on my blog-I feel very vulnerable in sharing this goal, but for true mental/emotional health this is something that needs to be addressed more than any of the other goals I have for health.)  Even though I'm not sure on the number-I really did put a conscious effort forth this month and this month was a really hard one in terms of that. 

*Write a conference schedule 
*Share conference schedule on blog
*Activity Days and Nursery Mother's Day activities This was so much more stressful for me than it should have been so I am proud of this accomplishment.
*Put up a scripture to reflect on on the fridge

*Finish thesis 
*Set date for thesis defense (communicate date with office at college) 
*Finalize plans for next year (apply for one job)

I think it's pretty clear that my priorities were my career/education this month and while I think that's okay and it was necessary as I had some pretty intense deadlines, I'd like to see more balance next month. 

How did you do with your May goals or how are you doing with your New Year's Resolutions in general?
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