Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Don't buy the wrong tampons and other helpful mom tips.

The other week I was sitting around the table with a couple of my sister-in-laws discussing the upcoming school year.  Shelby has a pre-teen still in elementary, but not too far off from Jr. High.  We were talking about how all kids hit different points of needing hygiene as well as fun items for growing up.  I love that she is so in-tune with her girl.  Growing up for me wasn't that easy, my mother and I weren't besties that talked about anything.  The day I asked for my own razor, I about croaked because I felt so embarrassed.

Here's your chance to be the cool mom.  Let's not make our girls feel like it's another maturation program-bleck!  Make your gal feel excited to make changes about hygiene and growing up, but in a way that they don't just jump from 12 to 18 overnight.  Just like everything, if you walk them through it then maybe they can avoid the bad eyeliner and makeup tips from their friends. 
1.  When I was a teen, I loved loved loved my caboodle.  Ya know, the thing you put your makeup in in the early 90s.  I had a few.  Well, I think a great kit starts with helping your girl pick out a great bag to store it all in.  Plus it will help their sibs stay out of it later.  This benefit bag was free at an event, but Target, Ross, and Ulta has some great options for little $$.  You might even have something great in your closet, it's worth a look.

2.  Skincare!  Start them young.  
  • Dove bar is essential in my kit.  I recommend buying a travel soap dish for it to live in.  This is not just a girl tip, I recommend this to everyone!  It will clear up the breakup and it's not going to over-strip the skin. 
  • Treatment- I picked the benzoyl peroxide gel (Target brand) to spot treat the acne that pops up.  Helpful hint is to make sure you use white towels- the peroxide portion of this can bleach towels, pillow cases, etc if not used correctly.
  • Face Lotion- My top recommendation for this is something basic like cetaphil.  Again, it's so gentle and the price point is minimal.   (The ones pictured are Ole Advanced Hydration and BB Cream by Smashbox).
3. Makeup-Utilize places like Sephora to get matched perfectly.  They also provide samples so you can see how it wears with your teen.  Don't feel like you have to spend a ton of money on makeup, the grocery store brands make some great products that I mix and match in my own collection. 
  • A bb cream is a great intro to foundation.  It provides a tiny hint of color, hydration, and sunscreen.  I really like Bare Minerals for a step up from a bb cream as well.
  • Concealer is a great option for those little red bumps that pop up.
4. Eyes.  I'm going to tell you right now, one of the first things your girls will run to is eye makeup.  More than likely they've had gloss since they were tiny so next step is eyes.
  • If you know me, you know I love E.L.F. and you know they are super inexpensive and make a great product.  Their lash curler is my fave (Tarte curler shown and is great too-Ava hid my elf).
  • Clear Mascara is a great tip for girls with dark lashes.  It's a great beginner item and they can't mess it up.  This will usually hold them over until 8th or 9th grade I've found.
  • They're real mascara is still my fave.  This sucker is $24 a pop, so maybe keep this secret for yourself.  Mammas, if you aren't comfortable showing your girl how to do her makeup, most places will do a little intro for next to nothing.  Plus it helps keep their makeup age appropriate.
5. Gloss.  Not a ton to explain here, keep it fun.  I love the CO Bigelow line from Bath and Body!  Yum, to the mint. 

6.  Hygiene.  After the horror of the razor when I was 12, the rest of dreaded puberty hit.  I think I was 14 and I decided I wanted to move up in the world to tampons.  Yes.  The "T" word.  Again, I waited until we got to the store and asked my mom if I could get some, expecting tampax or something I was familiar with.  Wrong.  OB.  Do you know what those are???  The terrifying terrorist that doesn't come in a pearl shell.  This doesn't even have a horrible cardboard shell.  Nothing.  I got home from the store very concerned about how exactly to dispense these into such a tiny area.  Please don't do this to your daughter.  I was traumatized for a good while after that.  
  • Find a fun deodorant.  Make it some they want to use it.  Please.  
  • Body mist is a much lighter twist on perfume, so they can't fragrance bomb you too bad.  
  • Lastly-a razor.  Don't skimp on this part.  And remind your littles not to share these with their friends!
I hope these recommendations help and I'm here if you have any specific questions.  If you have something you would like to know- email me at individualrivalry@gmail.com

XoXo
Jamie 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ohhhhh Back to School..

Ohhhhh...
Back To School
Back To School
To Prove To Dad That I'm Not A Fool
I've Got My Lunch Packed Up,
My Boots Tied Tight,
I Hope I Don't Get In A Fight
Ohhhh...
Back To School
Back To School
   Back To School...

Recently I  had the privilege of speaking to a group of youth girls about being back to school ready. They were just lovely and I am excited for them to enjoy what is next in their young adult life! I figured that there might be a few more of you out there looking for tips so I thought I would share what I taught. So I am going to go ahead and jump right in but I am going to let the master (Jamie) cover matters of the face next post. :)



Hair

1. It's a good rule of thumb to try to go as long as you can without washing your hair. Within reason of course. Using dry shampoo will help you last a little longer in-between washes. A lot of the times I will wear my hair straight after a wash and then I wear it curly/wavy as it gets closer to needing a wash. This also helps me go longer in-between. The reason you are doing this is to help allow your body's natural oils to condition your hair. 


2. Oils are great for smoothing and reducing frizz. 

3. Heat protectant is a MUST to reduce the damage we cause using hot tools. It will help keep your ends less dry and damaged. 
4. Taffy/Wax/Palmade are great for creating texture. especially on the ends of your wavy tresses. I'm not a huge advocate for products on the roots but these will also help tame those pesky fly-aways. 


5. The style. There are a ton of great options for hair these days so I thought I would list a few I'm digging on right now:

-Half Top Knot
Photo courtesy of my 4 year old….
-Top Knot

-Waves

-Headbands/Crowns

-Braids

Nails
If you want super cute nails but you don't want paint your nails only to have sheet marks on them next day followed by chipping.. You HAVE to try Jamberry Nails. They are nails wraps that come in a TON of different styles and they can last up to 2 weeks on your nails and 6 weeks on your toes!! You can find ones to match any outfit or if you don't, you can actually design your own! PLUS they are always buy 3 get one free. 
DUDE….
If you want to have a look around go check them out 

HERE


Clothes
As far as back to school shopping is concerned, some of my favorite places to shop at affordable prices are as followed:

-AE
-HM
                      -Kohls (gotta get that 30%!)
-Asos

A few of my favorite fall must haves are:

-Kimonos
asos.com
-A good pair of jeans (this is where I tend to splurge)
buckle.com
-Basic Tees
ae.com
-Riding Boots
amazon.com

-A Sweet Jacket
asos.com

-Pencil Skirt


Attitude



One of the most important parts of getting ready is your attitude. You are a daughter of a King and therefore you should act like it. What is a daughter of a King? A princess. How are most princess' portrayed?  They are compassionate, well poised, and kind. Much like our Father in Heaven and brother Jesus Christ. 
Make a list of your standards before the school year. Make a list of promises to yourself and place them where you can read it everyday. Keep your standards high and others will follow. Be the good. Be the example. Let your light shine and never feel ashamed for your beliefs and or morals. There are those around you without the gift you have been given that need your love and light. Therefore keep your judgments to yourself and instead reach out. Like they say, be kind, for everyone is facing their own battles. Stay loyal to the royal that runs deep within you. Start your days off with prayer and give thanks when needed and ask for help when needed.   
Remember that you are beautiful and that Heavenly Father has created you exactly how you are to fulfill a specific purpose in this life. A body for a purpose. 
Attitude and confidence when portrayed in the correct form is where the real beauty lies. Be confident, yet humble. Be assertive, yet compassionate. 
You are loved. You have a Father in Heaven and angels that are cheering for you to win. You can do this. You were born for it. 


Have a great school year all you beautiful girls! God Bless and good luck!
XoXo-
Sheena 









Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Help for your future photos!


Most of you will be doing the dreaded family pictures here soon, because face it- Christmas cards are right around the corner.  I just wanted to throw out a few helpful things I've found as a consumer and photographer. 

1. Do your research.  So many people do photography now so you now have your pick of the litter.  When I look for a photographer for my little family I like to know cost, how many edited pics I will get, and how long the session runs.  Google is a great resource and I always suggest seeing as many photos from the photog as possible so you have an idea what yours will be like. 

 2. Ask your photographer how you will receive your images.  Some photographers only do digital images, some require you to order prints with them, and some will give you a disc of images.  I've noticed a growing trend of "dropboxing" digital images to customers.  That can be great if you know how to use them, but a lot of my clients still prefer disc over dropbox. Also find out if you will receive a Print Release for your private printing.   Most photo printing places will require you have a photographer's release before they will give you prints.

 

3. Editing is important.  Did your kid fall off a chair and require stitches the day before your family pics?  Photoshop to the rescue right?  This is a great tool and it can alleviate the need to reschedule your session- but find out if it will come with an additional cost.  A lot of photogs will retouch a couple photos, but often they will charge a fee for extensive editing.  
Photoshop can save you from having to reschedule!

4. Find out how long it will take to get your photos back.  My experience is 1-2 weeks for normal sessions with the exception of large groups or weddings.  It takes time.  Be patient.  I easily take 500 photos at a session and then narrow it down a couple times before editing the finals.  Throw in a few sessions a week and it takes time.   

5.  We love suggestions, especially if you have a certain photo in mind.  I always recommend to my clients to make a list of shots they would like or to use pinterest for ideas. 
This client wanted a picture of her newborn with her grandmother.  It's now a cherished picture!

Now it's time for what you can do to make your session easier when it comes. 

1.  Newborn sessions are bitter and sweet all at once.  They can take 1 hour or 4.  Be prepared with plenty of milk and diapers.  That sweet baby will probably pee on the photography props and spit up all over that cute new swaddle.  Oh well.  Relax and let the photographer do the work.  I've found newborn sessions are best the first couple weeks of life when that baby is sleeping all day long.  The older a baby gets, the longer he or she is awake.  If you are going to do your own newborn photos, think twice.  My husband suggested we take our own with Ava, since I take other peoples.  I honestly didn't enjoy doing it at all.  It's hard to be the mom and the photog.  These photos are worth the investment.  I promise.  


2.  Whiten your teeth.  Yep, I said it.  The first time I got married- I had a great photographer and that was the first thing she said she suggests to all her couples.  I was already an avid whitener, but my (former) husband-to-be wasn't.  May I suggest whitestrips????  Cheap, easy, and quick.  Also freshly colored hair can be a must.  Don't rely on your photographer for all the fixes!

3.  If you have kids who tend to get messy, don't put their outfits on until the last minute.  You won't regret this.  Also, try and get any shots with the kids you need first.  Kids get tired quickly.  I've had photos where everyone looks perfect and the littlest babe is upset and screaming.  Bring treats that aren't messy and can be used to distract the kids. 

4.  Let your kid be a kid.  If the pose isn't perfect, let it go.  When you look back, that may be the picture you like the most.  Sheena and I have both experienced this many many times!

Those are just a few ideas.  
Thanks for reading and have a happy Tuesday!

-Jamie