Grief is…Strange.

End of January I shared some pretty sh*tty news on here, I lost my daughter Aaliyah at 31w pregnant. Love. Life. Beauty. will certainly be taking a new direction with some posts- a direction I never thought would touch me. I want to share both my grief journey and my new every day life, which, believe it or not, still kinda involves skincare and makeup. It’s a super weird and interesting dance between living daily life and just wanting to do absolutely nothing.

If you’ve experienced loss, any type of loss, I’m sure you know this feeling. When we lose someone we love we mourn and we grieve. I really didn’t focus on the difference between the two until they both totally smacked me in the face. Do you know the difference?

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When Love. Life. Beauty Turns to Love. Life. Loss

Writing this post absolutely sucks. Ab-so-lutely-f-ing sucks. Over the summer I shared how happy, and surprised, I was to find out I was pregnant. All those initial feels of shock quickly switched to over the moon excitement and planning overdrive for all things cute & fun. Finding out we were having a girl really put me to next level excitement. I’d have someone to give my beautiful handbags to, an ever present nail salon date and a beautiful girl I could educate on the importance of top notch skincare. Plans were made, a beautiful baby shower was had, the vintage Winnie the Pooh nursery ready to go.

Credit: https://www.katiejameson.ca/

All of these incredible plans came to a sudden halt the night of November 28 when I was exactly 31 weeks pregnant. I won’t go in to detail on this post, but my daughter no longer had a heartbeat. All of those dreams I had for her, and quite honestly for us, went right out the f’ing window in a matter of seconds. My constant thoughts of future play dates and ridiculously cute outfits instantly changed to constant thoughts of, “oh, I’ll need to deliver a sleeping baby”. It’s weird how your brain needs to make that sudden shift…and still somehow survive after it.

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Vitamins, Vitamins, Vitamins

In case you missed my last post, I’m pregnant! Cue all the pink confetti in the world!

Today I want to talk about vitamins. Vitamins are super important for our every day lives but even more so during pregnancy. I was pretty good about taking vitamins pre-pregnancy, but now I’m a vitamin psychopath & very proud of it!

When I was 18 I had a gynecological procedure done & was told it would probably be a challenge to get pregnant in the future. I honestly thought about that all the time through my 20s and so I had originally always wanted kids young because I thought I had a better chance. Well, thank the good Lord that never happened, but as I approached my late 20s I began to question my chances.

I had no idea when my time would come (and def didn’t think it would be May 2020) but I wanted to make sure my body was constantly prepped with vitamins and nutrients needed. I’ve always taken fish oil, B12, and had been taking D3 off & on, but I also added folic acid to my daily vitamin mix about a year ago. I’m going to go into the benefits of these vitamins below, but just wanted to start out by sharing I had already been taking these for quite some time before becoming pregnant.

After finding out I was pregnant I immediately started researching other vitamin options to add to my daily mix. I’ve added a daily prenatal, choline, and magnesium. I’ve been taking these every day and I’ve no ill feeling side effects from any of them. My iron levels are normal, so I never added an iron supplement. If you have low iron levels you will definitely want to talk to your doctor about either incorporating more iron rich food or a supplement. Iron supplements aren’t the most fun for our bodies, so I’d steer more toward iron rich foods such as leafy greens, apples, dates and lentils.

I truly think stocking my body with all of these different vitamins helped curb any potential morning sickness. Maybe I just got really lucky in that area, but I had 0 morning sickness. Literally, 0…and that’s with a girl! We 100% thought she was a boy (and were calling her one for weeks before finding out) because I had no sickness and felt so great the entire time. I’m starting to think, and my midwife said it’s a possibility, I avoided morning sickness because of my vitamin cocktail intake. Of course, who knows if that’s why, but if it is, that’s an easy thing to add to your daily pregnancy to do list!

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Woah There, 2020…

Well this is awkward coming back here after months on hiatus! Let’s just dive right on in…

Back in the spring virtual teaching during a pandemic took up a lot of my time and energy. Planning and then teaching on the computer daily wore me out, by the time 3pm rolled around I had no desire to even look at a screen. I did however cook a lot, read some great books and stay ridiculously dedicated to my AM & PM skincare routines. During quarantine I def got into a great rhythm, it just didn’t involve writing, or making time for writing, and I’m ok with that.

The fall of 2019 started a peace of mind for me that I hadn’t felt in years. Living in an insanely toxic environment had made me numb to everything around me. Now, living in a healthy and happy environment has allowed me to thrive like no other. Physically, spiritually, socially and financially my life has been at its all time best and I’m so thankful for that.

2020 has had its fair share of surprises for us all- it has made me appreciate friends, family and all that I’ve been blessed with more than I ever had. Aside from needing to figure out how to teach virtually, and constantly wondering how our society has gone to complete shit, I haven’t had any huge pandemic inconveniences. I have more tutoring clients than ever, my yoga practice has strengthened, and I’ve spent quality time catching up with old friends thanks to Zoom. & then 2020 had another huge surprise for me in early June…

After wondering where the hell my period was my friend convinced me to take a pregnancy test. I thought it was pointless but I was honestly wondering why it’d been over a month and nothing was happening- I kinda thought “Oh I’m almost 30, maybe my body is just changing…”. Well, in typical 2020 fashion, the pregnancy test came back positive and I just about died on my bathroom floor next to my dog. So yes, another reason I’ve been so MIA from the blog is because…I’m pregnant!

*Cue all quarantine jokes…le sigh*

It’s been quite the journey since June and honestly all of it has been great…it’s just…a lot! I’ve been in a relationship for some time now but I’ve been enjoying keeping it private. My time with him has been so peaceful and happy- we’re just really chill people who enjoy really chill things. Close friends know him, but there’s been something special about not advertising anything and keeping life low key. This pregnancy was certainly a surprise, but also a huge blessing for the both of us. Life works in mysterious ways and this is absolutely proof!

I plan on getting back to reviewing products, I have so many I’ve been using lately. & I also plan on using Love. Life. Beauty. as a space to share more of my everyday life including pregnancy tips and tricks for beauty, health and whatever else I think would fit well here. So, stay tuned for what’s in store…I’m excited to get back in the swing of things!

PS: We’re having a GIRL which is just the MOST exciting thing ever!

XO

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Thursday’s Fab Five: Book & Podcast Edition

Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope all are adjusting to our temporary new normal the best you can. It’s been interesting learning how to teach first graders from afar, but hey, every day is an adventure!

I know our ability to go out has been close to zero, so I wanted to focus on some Fab books and podcasts I’ve been enjoying while in somewhat of a quarantine. I read a majority of my books on my iPhone, but I did just recently get a DC Library card that I’m excited to use once this sh*t is over! Anyway, here are two books I’ve read in the past two weeks. Both of them are filled with suspense and are total page turners.

The first is The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda. I’d consider this a thriller in the sense that makes you think about the lengths people will go to alter, or altogether hide, their identity. Yes, there’s murder involved, but the element of the book that captured me was having to reevaluate my thoughts on characters after almost every chapter.

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Saturday Link Love

September is in full swing, YAY! Here are some recent links I’ve been lovin’…

11 Physical Signs Your Stress is Out of Control

By: Self

Stress is a silent killer, people!! Sometimes we have no idea we’re stressed, it can be happening without us realizing it. I’m a firm believer in meditation and self-care, and I know I wouldn’t have made it through the summer without either of those two things. Pay attention to your body and what you need. If you’re questioning whether or not you’re stressed, read through this article, and if any of it applies to you, research steps on how to minimize stress in your life!

Morning Routine Habits for a Happy + Productive Day

By: Thirteen Thoughts

Last Link Love post I shared how much I love the blog, Thirteen Thoughts. This is another article that I was really drawn to recently & a great follow up to the above article I shared about stress. Having a solid morning routine has helped me eliminate a bulk of stress.

The Chicest Fall Nail Colors That Aren’t Burgundy, Black, or Navy

By: Who, What, Wear

Ok, I admittedly stick to burgundy and navy nail colors for fall- BUT, I’m ready to shake it up for fall 2019. I love the caramel and deep violet colors and I’m excited to incorporate them into my color choices for the fall and winter season! Check out the other suggestions from the trusted Who, What, Wear!

Saturday Link Love

It’s Saturdayyyy…ouuuouuuuuu! Love me some 2001 Ludacris, and yes, I actually listened to this song this morning while putting the finishing touches on this post/ cleaning my cloffice.

This is my last summer Saturday, a new school year starts on Monday, and I’m ready to get back into my routine, but not ready for all the work, work, work, that’s about to come my way.

Here are some of the posts & articles I’ve been reading through the week now that I’m back from Europe. I’m super excited to share tons of pics and travel tips in the upcoming weeks from my European adventure, so stay tuned!

The Amazon Rainforest is Ablaze- Here’s How You Can Help

By: Refinery 29

My anger in this issue is through the F’ing roof. The Amazon Rainforest fires are not getting the coverage deserved, and it’s really pissing me off. This is a huge deal for our planet, and we should all be taking time out of our lives to read up on what’s happening, WHY IT’S HAPPENING, and what we can do moving forward to protect Earth. PLEASE, read this article ad understand that you can lend a helping hand without always needing to open your wallet.

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Skin&CO Roma Blue in Capri Shower Gel

Becoming a member of FabFitFun was one of the best decisions ever. Shout out to my besties Sabah & Paulina for getting me on board! I love having a curated box of amazing products sent to me quarterly- it really gives me something to look forward to. One product I’ve been super grateful for is the Skin&CO Roma Blue in Capri Shower Gel, a limited edition product from the Italian Collection.

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Saturday Link Love

Happy Saturday! One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday is to scroll through all the links I’ve opened up at work during the week, but never actually get around to reading. When I first started Love. Life. Beauty. I routinely did a Link Roundup, and then slowly stopped. I’ve been wanting to bring it back, so here we are, with Saturday’s Link Love! If you have any favorite links you’ve come across during the week, drop them in the comments below!

13 Things You’re Doing to Sabotage Your Skin

By: The EveryGirl

I def want to start taking probiotics daily, both for my skin and overall heath. & I know I need to be more mindful about not touching my face & making sure I regularly wipe down my cell phone before using it to prevent germs!

11 New Products Coming to Ulta This Month

By: Refinery 29

I really want to try the new Tarte Stay Spray setting spray! It claims to be the perfect setting spray for the summer, and since facial sweating is one of my biggest fears in life, I’m hoping this product lives up to the hype! The e.l.f. Super Mask also looks promising for a post-sun mask.

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Life Update: Moving

February has gone by so quickly.  I’m looking at the calendar right now, and I cannot believe there’s only 8 more days left in this month.  February has been super hectic for me, from teaching to kinda, half way unexpectedly, moving.

Life can be pretty crazy, almost all the time, but I really wasn’t expecting needing to move in a three week time period.  At first it was super overwhelming, but then Rob & I found a renovated townhouse in D.C…. finally, we’re officially in the city.  No more rush hour traffic for me, my school is just over a 5 minute drive away.  It’s seriously amazing.

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