Children Born Truly A Blessing

What a blessing it is to see a child grow up in a family surrounded by a loving community.

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Mothers work hard to carry a child and to take care of a baby when it is born. It is such a wonderful experience though to see a child grow up and see a woman become a mother as she nurtures that baby to grow and learn by her love. It is amazing how connected a community can become when a baby is born. As I sit here in church I see babies being passed around here and there from mom to a long time friend sitting next to her. I see women who are very well aged holding a baby, as they probably reminisce on how they once raised their own children and had that position of a new mom. Both the older women and the young lady hold the baby, adoring eyes on their tiny bodies, tender hands grasping their soft chubby legs and belly, and the warmth of the baby warming every heart.

It does take a community to raise a child. Mom is under a lot of pressure and going through many changes. With a first child, she has officially become a mother. Her status among her peers may change as she is no longer as free to meet up and likely holed up for days at home with her new little nugget. She may be struggling socially as each day becomes monotonous. Mothers of more than one child may be seeing the change of adding a sibling for their other children. Meanwhile, there are friends and family surrounding her, excited for the new addition, a new little personality to get to know. Family is there to help with meals and chores as mom recovers and learns to manage with baby. Friends are close to coo and hold the new child and take the baby from mothers tired arms. Peers are near to socialize and congratulate after a much needed week of baby care. Her husband is near her side through all of it as well, helping as much as he can while he is home.

A baby needs to feel loved. They sense and know much more than we think. It can be stressful for a baby when there are fewer people around (as it can be when there are too many people!). Having a community surround a family brings so much needed support and the families new addition can bring so much joy! It’s a beautiful thing to watch, so many sisters being benefited from having a baby in the room. Babies just bring a light and happiness! And even when they cry, heads turn because instinctually we know that baby is important and demands our attention. I know all family situations are not ideal where both mom and dad aren’t around or family is not close, etc. but I just wanted to highlight what I have seen in families around me and in the community of the church I am a part of. Families here are not perfect either, but it is obvious that children are a light in our lives that we cannot deny.

The media does not portray family and children like they used to or should. We are surrounded by ideas that marriage and children tie us down and are not important any more. That’s not the case. When children come into the world, they are a blessing, they are a piece of goodness from the Lord. I’m so grateful for the sweet babies I have been able to hold and take care of and the motherly instincts they have helped me connect to. I hope one day to be able to have my own and share the blessing of children with my family and friends. I hope this Father’s Day we can appreciate the family. Every member is needed and we can give special appreciation to Dad this day.

Fave 3 Products of the Week!

Talking about 3 of my favorite products this week!

Goooooooooood Morning this beautiful Tuesday!

Well actually, its more like afternoon, but thats okay…

Today I wanted to share three of my favorite products that I am obsessing over right now! This is the first post of its kind on my blog. I’ll give it a try and hopefully it’s a helpful post for you! I will be talking about 3 products I love and 1 that I created thats working really well for me! If you want to check out how I made my own DIY Lip Scrub, head over to my makeup Instagram page to check it out in my last post! @MakenziReviews

So the first product I want to tell you about is a brand new facial cleanser I grabbed at the store LAST NIGHT! It’s the first product in the photo above. I already love it! Its the Baking Soda Cleanser by Biore. You can find it at Walmart, Target, Maceys Grocery, basically anywhere there are general bathing and grooming products! To start off, this product has really great packaging. I love how it is all a translucent white/clear color. From the pump, to the gel itself, and the whole container, it all just ties in. The color reminds me of when you make a mini volcano in grade school and put the baking soda and vinegar together…IDK if thats a good thing for a face cleanser but I like it! Next, it smells great, which is typical for all Biore products. Its got a lovely fragrance, similar to the Charcoal cleanser. However, this one does not have the cooling effect like the Charcoal cleanser. It does have a few small exfoliating beads, I think they are supposed to be little baking soda beads. Theres not enough for me to say its an exfoliating gel though because I still use it with my Clarisonic brush. Overall it is a great face wash! Heres the Biore Baking Soda Cleanser as an add-on on Amazon. And the Mia 2 by Clarisonic

Next product is a hair product! This one is the Taming Elixir by Sebastian Professional. I love this as a conditioning heat protectant for when I blow-dry my hair. I don’t blow-dry my hair often, I normally let it air dry and sometimes straighten a few weird curls. But when I do use hot tools to dry my hair, I use this. I don’t usually buy higher end products for my hair or very few because I am low maintenance with my hair but this one is so great because it leaves my hair super shiny, I feel like my hair is much stronger when I use it, and its a great heat protectant. It contains avocado oil in it so that provides the natural heat protecting element. Its very light weight too so its not going to be a heavy greasy hair product. Perfect for me and smells wonderful! Check out the Sebastian Taming Elixir here

The third product is a sample of the Coconut Sheer Oil by Kopari Beauty. I have actually had this product for a couple years now but never really knew what to do with it. I used it in my hair a few times but it did NOT go well! My hair didn’t soak it in very quickly and it looked greasy 😦 but now I am using it on my face as a moisturizer along with my Elta MD SPF moisturizer! It makes my skin sooo soft and hydrated and I have not had any problems with break outs while using it. I feel like it makes my skin softer and helps impurities move through easier which = less fiery red zits! And OH MY GOODNESS this oil smells SO GREAT! Like it smells the best out of all 4 of the above pictured products! I absolutely love it! I like this small size but I don’t know if I am ready to commit to the bigger size that is 45$ at Ulta…Maybe when I make more money…one day… 🙂 If you have the $$$ to get the regular size or if you get your hands on a sample size TRY IT OUT! It’s a wonderful multi use coconut oil! You’ll fall in love 🙂  Luckily this product is on Amazon for 39$! Check out the Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil here!

Pictured above is a glass container of lip scrub that I made the other night foe you all on Instagram. Its super easy to make and has so many exfoliating and softening properties! Check it out on my Instagram! @MakenziReviews

 

This page does contain affiliate links which, when you click and purchase a product through a link, I may get a commission as an Amazon affiliate. Doing so does help me out but no sweat if you don’t click or choose to buy. Thanks!

“Home” In A Strange Place

Thoughts on coping with calling an unexpected location your new home.

Have you ever thought about how you love the place where you grew up? The warm Saturdays at the field, the way laundry smells when mom is home doing work around the house, how that one Mexican restaurant is your families favorite, and the lady at the bank remembers you from when you were just tiny and stealing more candy than you needed from the bowl at her desk. Sometimes I just sit and think about how the Sacramento area was just the perfect place to grow up and how my family and I just fit in so well to the community. We had our spot and things we would do and people we knew and favorite hang out spots that no one else knew about. I also think about how my mom grew up somewhere else and that the way I feel about home may not have been how she felt about our home until she had been there awhile and settled in. I feel that way about where I live now.

Now, I am not a mother yet, but I don’t live with my husband where either of us grew up. I live in Salt Lake City now and its been a strange experience. Its only been about 8 months that Ive been here and I am just waiting for those “home experiences” where I am comfortable, people know me, and I love the little undiscovered parts of town and the surrounding area. I’m not there yet. I don’t know if that just happens as you grow up, you see the truth behind the glowing memories and see what is really before your eyes, but I have to think that I can have those glowing memories come from this new “home” as well. And then I don’t want to because I know I won’t be here long. We will only be here as long as my husband is in school for his Masters degree and thats only a couple more years. So do I settle in and try to make this home feel like my childhood home? Do I create that halo effect of the memories that I will have of this place and put effort into making it that way. Or do I welcome the new experience of now. Do I wait for a new “home” where I can settle in and find my place in the community so that my children will have that feeling of belonging and close knit neighbors and friendly passerby? Here in SLC, I drive to the packed Southside of the city for work, I work on my online classes in my apartment in an older complex hidden in a suburban neighborhood. There are people I am afraid of in my complex, there are children that are loud in the morning and frustrate me as they pound down the stairs and wake me up. there are smokers who make my home smell, there is a dirty creek behind my building, and someone stole a tire iron from my husbands jeep. These are the things that come to mind when I think of where I live now. Maybe its just a shift of mindset that needs to happen?

As the weather grows warmer, my memories and attitude toward this place warm up as well. I see the ducks in the rising creek play around, I see the flowers bloom on the trimmed bushes, the vitamin d from the sunshine makes me smile as I soak in the rays from the forgotten sun after months of cold winter. I look at our cozy and bright apartment int he evening, when its 7:30 and still light out, and I smile because we have all this together. And I think thats what makes up those golden memories from the past: warm weather, clean kitchens, ducks in the pond, flowers coming out to say hi, snow on the distant desert range melting day after day, and hope in the future to accompany the company of your loved one. I think it is possible to make a home in a strange place. It will definitely not be like your childhood home, but the halo effect on your memory of where you now occupy will come with time as you take in the moment and appreciate whats around you and who is around you. In no time, your memories and feeling toward your home will be as picturesque as if you had taken it with a polaroid. Imperfect yet just they way you wanted it to turn out.

BEST Makeup “Brushes” Today- Compared

All of us makeup lovers out there have seen the trends come and go for how to apply your foundation. Instagram shows us even weirder possibilities like spatulas, shoes, knives, and tacos, totally outside the normal and sensible makeup tools! Traditionally we see brushes and makeup sponges used in applying foundation. Right now, the popular trend is to use a Beauty Blender or a silicone “sponge” or silisponge. Today I want to compare three popular and mostly conservative makeup tools side by side to show you the difference between their application. You might not think so but not all makeup tools are created equal! So lets compare the classic foundation brush, the Beauty Blender sponge, and the silisponge.

Im going to show you how they first swipe onto the skin, how they blend out, and how easy they are to clean. My goal is to show you why each applicator is different and what they are best used for so that you can have confidence in using them and find what you like for your personal makeup preference! Here we go!

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Foundation Brush- These are the most common, brushes are used in many parts of the makeup application. There are different styles of makeup brush for your preference, flat, big and soft, tight and compact brush bristles, flat top, brushes that look like a fish… there are many! Great for liquid foundation and perfect for powder foundation and finishing powder. Check out these foundation brushes, and these ones! This one is super cute too 🙂

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Beauty Blender- Basically a glorified reusable makeup sponge. There are many off brands of the original Beauty Blender. Whether you are using the original or a knockoff, they are pretty much the same and go by the same name. I am using a version from Forever 21, they came in a 2 pack for cheap. TJ Maxx and Ross also have a great inexpensive selection! Great for a natural, dewey makeup look. Also works with finishing powder but not as much as a brush. Heres a great deal on a pack of blenders. This ECO friendly blender is a great option too.

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Silisponge- Probably the weirdest of the three products on here today! This makeup tool is inspired by makeup artists on Instagram using random objects to blend out their makeup and one of those items being a silicone bra insert! It became so popular that companies started manufacturing an actual silicone sponge shaped applicator for makeup! Now this thing is NOTHING like a sponge. It does not waste or soak up any product like a sponge would. It just spreads the liquid foundation round like peanut butter on bread! I found mine in a 2 pack at Walmart for 4$, so not bad! I really don’t think there is a different between the high end brand and the Walmart, its literally just a smooth jelly feeling pod for makeup. Lets see how it compares to the other two! Shop this product here

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Here is a comparison of all three…

Comparison Photo

Brush- can see stroke lines, somewhat blended, streaky, uneven, overall great coverage and blending. Medium amount of product soaked up.

Blender- Lots of product soaked up! Amazing blending, not amazing at spreading product, very natural look, not streaks, no lines.

Silisponge- FAIL no product wasted, very patchy, lots of line and unevenness, not natural at all. I would be embarrassed to walk out with this blend job…

Overall, I absolutely love the beauty blender sponge. It blends out perfectly for a soft and natural finish on your skin and leaves no trace of streakiness. Its THE BEST! The brush come sin second, its good in general but a little streaky. The silicone sponge though…. DONT GET ME STARTED! Its a flop… the only thing I use it for really is to move the makeup around on my face so I can blend it later with the sponge. Beauty Blender: Winner!

So now that you know about the differences between these three common makeup products, you can make the best choice for your makeup application! These tools can be very inexpensive, and they definitely have their more pricey counterparts, BUT I hope I could save you some $$ by showing you these before you pick the wrong tool for you! Hopefully you find “the one” for your daily makeup routine!

Check out the links in the descriptions above for some great options on Amazon, there are some very reliable options and some that are very cute and creative as well!

May your eyeliner be on fleek and your foundation perfectly blended!

 

Deconstruct an Article Promotion

Today I wanted to talk about article promotion and show you a great example I have seen on Instagram. Article promotions are like the only links I will click on these days! I don’t mind reading articles about things I am interested in, but as soon as it hits to an advertisement or learn more tab, I am OUT!

So the great example of article promotion I wanted to share is by a company called “HudaBeauty” run by beauty pro Huda Kattan. She is the face of her brand and is recognized by makeup lovers all over the world. And I mean all over the world for a reason because she promotes her makeup tips and tricks as well as products in English and Arabic, so she has a pretty far reach in the market. I love watching her Youtube videos and seeing her articles promotion posts on Snapchat, she does a wonderful job in directing traffic to her website. She gives off a genuine feel in all that she posts. She also promotes her makeup tricks through her Instagram. Most of her posts are showing off other peoples work with her products but occasionally she will post her video of a tutorial or a makeup swatch or how a new product works. She then will put the link to that expanded post for her website in her biography link in her Insta profile. This is just the nature of Instagram that live links can only be put in the profile section, not the actual post itself. So here is here latest post about How To Clean False Lashes

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As you can see, she posted the How To video and the link is inherently bio. When you click the link it follows to her website where the original post is. Heres the link if you want to check it out followed by the site screenshots. HudaBeauty

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So I think she did a great job with promoting her Instagram and website. The Instagram video is in her site article and the Instagram page links to her article. I would say her social media channels are all interwoven and that is really important. That is definitely a strength in how HudaBeauty shares their posts. Her image is consistent across the two sites. She keeps her color scheme of black white and pink with Huda Kattan being the main person. Some weaknesses I see are that the posts is pretty short on the website. I think there is more info about how to clean the lashes in the video than the actual article so its almost redundant to have a whole other article about it on the website. I think the fact that her article is short could be a strength and a weakness. I know I like her other articles because they are short and to the point and not painfully long or repetitive, thats why I like reading them. In this case though, the video has more info than the actual article. When posting a video in an article I think the article should expand on what is shown or talked about in the video so that they are complimentary. I also like that on her site there are relevant related articles suggested on the sidebar and at the end. There are no ads for random clickbait sites and I really appreciate that. I also don’t know if this is a strength or weakness but I think it is strange that the title of the article is different on the site than what the title of the video is on Instagram? Like shouldn’t they be the same? What are your thoughts on that?

Thanks for reading and hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration for your next round of article promotion posting! Thoughts and comments are welcome below!

Week 8, Day 5

Yay Friday! Not really… Creating and saving my cover pages on Photoshop for Interpersonal was a NIGHTMARE! I had fun making the collages and arranging them etc. in PS, BUT my computer was super slow! Most of my time was wasted waiting for the stupid thing to save the files to a PDF so that I could take them to the print shop. I was afraid it wasn’t going to happen before class. While I was waiting for the files to save, I went and “got ready” for the day. I am sad to admit that I am kind of a mess today. No makeup, no shower, no fashion whatsoever. It really could be worse, but I aint feelin’ fly today. I came back to the computer to check on the saved files and it was just taking forever! Finally they saved, i put them on a flash drive and went to AlphaGraphics. I made the guy print them twice on accident. It didn’t take too long for the whole process but I was slightly annoyed that I had made the process go longer. I wanted the pages to be double sided, different sides. He printed four pages at first and then I was going to make him laminate them but the pages would have shifted in the process. So he printed again and the pages were a clean double side with no lamination issues. Except that there is a really thick hair and a black speck laminated into the pages :/ Next I trimmed them and left quickly. I drove home to pick up a few school things and ran out the door. I was only 10 minutes late and waked in on the prayer, but no biggie… Turns out the teacher didn’t even want the pages today. She said to keep them so she wouldn’t ruin them in transit for grading and such. She asked “Who brought theirs today?” and everyone raised their hand. Wow, I could have gotten away with half finishing them. I’m glad I got them done though. They are finished and have no problems and I am good! The rest of class was about listening styles and barriers. Still trying to work on being a better listener, even though I feel like I haven’t had too many opportunities. Now I have the rest of the weekend to do some more homework! It just never ends…

Finished Works:

These are in no way professional at all! Just what I was working on. They’re cute and funny but they’re just for me haha

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Week 3, Day 7

Great day of communication. Went to church and only fell asleep a little. Got some great messages that are helping me to be better. I have come to love sacrament meeting a lot more than before. When I actually out thought into it, it becomes so much more meaningful and I have a spiritual experience. Today was one of those days. I also said many long needed prayers. I have also come to love praying for others. I want to help others and I always pray that my friends and family will be blessed in ways that they need and that they can find peace in their busy lives. I feel like it opens my heart up to those individuals and it also makes me be a better friend and listener for them in the future. When I am listening for certain things that are bugging them or that they are excited about, it helps me remember what I should say in my prayers for them. It helps me remember the little things in general, that they may not have thought I had caught. I know God hears me and this process improves my communication both with my Heavenly Father and with those close to me. Hope you enjoy reading my thoughts on communication, whether it applies to family, strangers, boys, friends, or to God, it’s always important to be open to communicate and to express what you have to say . I love keeping in contact with my God through prayer and seeing the relationship grow. I hope you can find the same thing too 🙂