Product Empties | November 2019

Posted a new video on my YouTube channel after like months of inactivity 🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️ cause ya know, #momlife

Check it out…

https://youtu.be/PqRHvlHoMSQ

So Hear Me Out…

Where do I even begin? I don’t know. My mind is a constant jumble of mess literally all of the time. I swear becoming a Mom has hindered my ability at being a normal person. I have a lot to say and share and I so want to blog/vlog about all of it but I’m struggling to find time. I have no time for myself as it is let alone time to do things that spark joy for me.

At the same time, I’m cognizant of the fact that by not making time for the things that rejuvenate my soul and foster my creativity I’m going to continue to feel this very unfulfilled angst. It sounds horrible for a wife and mom to say she doesn’t feel fulfillment and by doing so I can sense the judgement that will be thrown my way. But hear me out on this.

Im clearly no expert on life, motherhood and wifey stuff, but what I’m learning though is that if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of everyone else as adequately as you aspire to. It sounds so redundant and cliche to say “you can’t pour from an empty cup” but it’s the most truthful saying I can think of that rings totally true for my current state of life and my mindset.

While you are in the thick of it though (meaning the chaos, demanding schedules, toddler tantrums, lack of sleep and sticky floors) you can’t see this. The urge to do anything but parent/wife/work make you feel like one of those three things are slacking which makes you feel like a failure and like you aren’t living up to the impossible and invisible set of standards that you have set for yourself in your anxiety ridden and sleep deprived mind. So you let things fall to the wayside out of guilt and obligation for all the other roles and responsibilities you have to tackle. The book(s) you want to read, the blog you want to write, the vlog you want to film, the girls trip you soooooo need, the movies you want to watch, the pedicure you so desperately need, the haircut and color that is 12 months over due,

The eyebrow waxing you so clearly need…I could go on for eternity).

The noise in your brain caused by the constant racing thoughts and feelings of inadequacy is freaking exhausting. My brain hurts from the self hatred and I need to give myself some grace. They say this is a season of life though. That it gets easier. That as the kids grow and become more independent you will slowly begin to sleep more and have more time as they don’t need you as much. While you long for that time you slowly despise its arrival because that means your babies are growing up and they aren’t babies anymore and for so long your self identity has been wrapped up in being their Mama Bear.

I’ve been at this mom gig for two years three months and counting and it’s been one amazing, God led, and beautiful experience thus far. But I’d be lying if I said it was easy or that I knew what I was doing or that I had the ability to juggle it all efficiently. My current state of life is chaotic, stressful, overwhelming and beautiful at the same time. I’m struggling to keep my sense of self and my identity as a woman in trying to navigate it all. Please know I’m trying. I ask for your patience, your grace and your support while I try to figure it all out. If I’m slow to return a call/text, didn’t send a thank you note for a gift, haven’t been able to make those plans to get together like we keep saying we will, or set that girls weekend up on the calendar etc I’m not intending to be a bad friend/sister/daughter/neighbor/person and please know I seriously crave the normal human interaction more than you will know as I sooo need it. I’m just currently dealing with a whirlwind of chaos and I don’t know what to do with myself half the time. It’s literally not you. It’s me. Totally me. Send prayers, positive thoughts/vibes and maybe wine? (Kind of kidding about the wine). And I’ll see you in a couple more years…

XOXO 😘

Crazy Jess ❤️

Crazy Jess | #TopFive | Mascaras 👁 

Well hello there.  If you are new here, welcome.  I hope you like, comment and subscribe.  If you aren’t new here, then welcome back and thank you for following me.  I know my blog lacks focus and content consistency but I’m working on it, I promise! 😜

In fact, I’m working on it so much so that I decided that I’m finally going to start my #TopFive series I’ve been planning on starting for like ever at this point but #life and #motherhood got in the way of that.  Now is as good a time as any.   

So, what do I mean by “Top Five Series” you may be thinking.  Well, basically I decided I would start a series each month were I would share my top five of random items/products/things etc.

For this month’s installment of the #TopFiveSeries I decided to start with my #TopFiveMascaras of all time.

Why mascaras you might be thinking?   Good question.  I chose to start with that topic because it’s one of the top questions I get from people regarding my makeup looks, even from strangers in public, holding a close second to the other frequent question I get which is “what kind of contacts are you wearing, because your eyes are sooo green they can’t be natural”.

Yes Susan they are real.  God gave them to me and no I’m not lying to you.  (Sidenote: I legit had a lady in public argue with me and tell me I was lying that this is my natural eye color…because out of all the things to lie about regarding my appearance my eye color would be the one I’d choose lol 😂)

So where was I?   Oh yeah, my top five mascaras.

These are legit my top five and I have all five on hand ALWAYS!   They range from high end to drug store brand and they are all worth the money.   I always get them in the color black or whatever the darkest color they have available is.   

In no particular order here we go…

By the way, I’m not going to write a thesis here on Mascara and highlight the pros and cons of each individually because that is just wayyy tooo much info. Just trust me if you want major volume you will like these 😉

1) IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara


💰 Price: $24.00

🛍 Where to buy: Ulta

 

2) Benefit They’re Real Mascara


💰 Price: $25.00

🛍 Where to buy: Ulta

 

3) L’Oréal Lash Paradise


💰 Price: $9.99 (usually but you can get on sale & use coupons to get it even cheaper)

🛍 Where to buy: any drugstore, Wal-Mart or Target and also available at Ulta 

Note: this is a drug store dupe for the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara and I quite honestly think this one is in fact BETTER than the Too Faced BTS and is obviously much more affordable.

 

4) Maybelline Lash Sensational


💰 Price: $8.99 (usually but you can get on sale & use coupons to get it even cheaper)

🛍 Where to buy: any drugstore, Wal-Mart or Target and also available at Ulta
5) Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir


💰 Price: $26.00

🛍 Where to buy: Sephora
So why these five?   Well in short they are all amazing and let me tell you I’ve tried ALL the mascaras.   Well maybe not all of them but darn near close and out of all the many mascaras I have purchased, these are the ones I consistently repurchase over and over again.

They work for me because they each give me dramatic volume, are buildable, don’t flake, aren’t too watery, and don’t give me “tarantula eyes” either.  I can wear them each by themselves or I can wear a layer of one and finish with a top coat or two of another and it always looks good. 

I consistently get compliments on my mascara/eyelashes or people ask me what false eyelashes I’m wearing (I don’t do false lashes FYI) and there is never any consistency in exactly what combination of these five I’m wearing on any given day when I get said compliments or questions so they all without fail work for me and for now are my must-have top five.  

What is your favorite mascara?   Have you tried any of these?  What did you think of them?   Comment below and let me know!

Until next time,

XOXO 

Crazy Jess 💋

A Look Back – Post Op Gastric Bypass


9/13/18 marked our fourth wedding anniversary. It has been an amazing four years and I am more in love with my husband today than I was on our wedding day. We are truly blessed and I thank God every day for that.  But in saying that, I was prompted to write this honest post so bare with me here.

Most of you that are on Facebook know the “on this day” feature where they show your pictures or posts that you have previously posted on the same day years prior. If you aren’t familiar with it or don’t do Facebook then I commend you. I keep saying I’m going to quit but it’s a drug I can’t seem to keep away from even though it doesn’t always bring positivity or productivity to my life, but I digress.

The other day I started receiving said updates in my feed of pictures of our wedding and honeymoon.  Please know that obviously our wedding day was a beautiful day that I will never forget, and our honeymoon was amazing for sure, but in looking back on these photos it makes me sad if I’m really being honest.

It makes me sad because I had lost about 30lbs pre-wedding to get ready for our big day and I still felt miserable and unattractive on one of the special and memorable days of my life…even after a 30lb weightloss.

I don’t say that for compliments, please understand, I’m just being honest right now. Those whom don’t have body weight or body image issues won’t understand what I’m trying to convey exactly.  I don’t want to strike a nerve with anyone or make it seem like I’m fishing for compliments and attention either. I’m just speaking from the heart aka #realtalk 😜

So with that, I’m going to be totally transparent. So here it goes…

I have to tell you that I dropped the 30lbs by taking medically prescribed speed (phentermine), taking bi-weekly vitamin B12 shots in my rear end, taking other medically prescribed supplements, working out at 5am before work, and eating a completely unhealthy diet.  To give you an idea of where I was, I was 285lbs about 6mos before the wedding (March of 2014) and after doing all of this in preparation for the big day I weighed 255lbs on the day of our wedding 9/13/14.

Side note: This was also not the first time I did something similar. In 2007-2009 I lost 60lbs in that time period by eating only one meal a day (on most days) and drinking Diet Coke and unsalted popcorn like it was my full time job.  Again, completely unhealthy and stupid.  But I didn’t care. I only cared about the numbers on that scale (yet I was still fat 😂 and was only able to get down to 238lbs with that moronic way of life/eating).

Both then and pre-wedding time period, I was happy to see the numbers on the scale move but at the same time I knew that what I was doing was not sustainable or good for me, but I didn’t care. I wanted to be the perfect woman or perfect bride and wife and wanted to feel good about myself on my special day and I didn’t care what it took to get there.

It was then post wedding that the weight piled back on just as quickly as it fell off as soon as I stopped the B12 shots and phentermine but it was also by this time that we were trying to have children.  I don’t remember how long it took me months wise post wedding but I got back up to my starting weight of 285lbs again and was devasted each month when my period would show up as obviously we were not pregnant.  It was around this time (early 2016) that I decided to go see a fertility doctor for a consultation as I was convinced something was wrong with me fertility wise and without even a blood test or taking my vitals or anything I remember sitting in the fertility doctors office and him telling me with his heavy accent that I was simply too fat to conceive.   He said “have gastric bypass surgery and then six months after surgery come back and see me”.

I left that day feeling so broken and alone.  I had never felt so humiliated and worthless in all my life after that appointment.  But a couple weeks later I scheduled an orientation session with Duke to get more information on weight loss surgery options and it was the best decision that I ever made for myself.

Thankfully my insurance covered it and before I knew it I was given a surgery date of 11/6/16 to have RNY gastric bypass.   I will spare you the nitty gritty details.  I can tell you though that it was hard as hell, it still is, but I have absolutely no regrets.   Anyone that says it’s the easy way out has literally no freaking clue what they are talking about.  I have quite a bit left on my journey to hit my ultimate goal but I have come a long way and was blessed with carrying a baby girl to term that is one of the best things to ever happen to me.  I don’t recommend getting pregnant nine months post op like I did but it happened and again I don’t regret it.  This amazing blessing (aka #babyhannah ) has ultimately caused a stall with my post-op weight loss journey and progress and I’m desperately trying to get back on track in the midst of sleepless nights and the stress yet amazingness of being a mom of #twoundertwo.

So as I quickly approach my two year surgiversary as we WLS patients call it, I am disappointed that I’m not as far on my weight loss journey as I would like however I am reminded of how far I have come at the same time.  This mess is hard as crap but I’m doing my best each day and I have no regrets.   I’m honest with the fact that I’m struggling to get in my protein and fluids, not rely on caffeine so much to function and to make time for myself and to exercise but I’m talking it one day at a time and am still dedicated and determined.

My stats are below for those interested.   Please send me motivational vibes, comments, thoughts to push me to get to the finish line (my goal weight).


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Highest Weight: 285lbs

Day Of Surgery: 270lbs

Current Weight: 198lbs

Lowest Weight: 188lbs

Goal Weight: 145lbs ?

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Until next time,

XOXO, Crazy Jess

Starbuck’s Pink Drink – Rip Off


If you are reading this post it means one of two things…either you are a total Starbucks addict like I am…OR you are frugal like I am and would like to indulge in the deliciousness that Starbucks has to offer but you are too cheap, or…”frugal” to do so and you are looking for ways to bring the flavor of Starbucks to your kitchen to not miss out on life.

Either way,  I’m glad you stopped by.  This blog won’t be groundbreaking, it’s pretty much old news at this point, but indulge me if you don’t mind.  Apparently this “Pink Drink” is a thing but I was totally unaware as I’m a coffee person more than a refresher or tea person when I do go to Starbucks so I had no clue…

Recently, as in like literally 6 weeks ago, I gave birth for the first time to a beautiful baby girl.  In doing so I began the magical (somewhat hellish) journey of breastfeeding which I was totally not as prepared for as I thought.  Turns out your milk supply sometimes can be inadequate or inconsistent, who knew.  In spending countless hours researching ways to increase my supply, one of the suggestions I received from numerous people, Mom Groups etc was to try the mysterious Starbuck’s Secret Menu item called the “Pink Drink”.  To be clear, it’s not necessarily the drink itself that has magical boob milk powers.  Turns out coconut (milk, water etc) can have a positive impact on supply so they say.

With this in mind, and out of shear frustration that my baby girl is having way more formula in conjunction with my breast milk than I would like, I went to our local Starbuck’s where I know the barista by name (it’s sad really) and ordered it.  It felt so unnatural and weird to order anything but my usual drink by the way (a grande iced vanilla latte with only 1 pump of vanilla syrup)  Like I didn’t even know if I was saying it right…or if the barista would know what I’m talking about.  Thankfully he knew exactly what it was and the ordering process was pretty seamless.

My thoughts after trying it was that it was amazing.  It is delicious and different.  It is very light and refreshing making it perfect for summer/warm weather.  I felt kind of bad paying $5 a pop for it, especially considering the volume I will be drinking in my quest to see if it will help my milk supply.  So I decided I would figure out a way to make it myself and off to the store I went to buy all the ingredients.

The recipe I used can be found here:

Starbuck’s Pink Drink Recipe

My thoughts:

  • It was harder than I thought to find Acai Berry Green Tea – and when I say hard, I mean they didn’t have any at the one grocery store I went to so I just bought something else and was too lazy/busy/didn’t care enough to go to Whole Foods or somewhere else to try to find the exact tea you are supposed to use.  So I substituted and used the Celestial Red Raspberry Zinger tea and it was really tasty.
  • It’s not as sweet as the Starbucks original, which is good for me as I like things lightly sweetened/unsweetened anyway.  I used local raw organic honey as my sweetener because that is what we had on hand but Agave would probably be just as good.
  • It was pretty easy to make it and the longest part of the process is boiling the water & steeping the tea but you could totally make the tea ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator and pour as needed I would think?  
  • I saved $5, and the planet each time I made one as that is one less cup, straw and lid in the landfill – so you’re welcome for that.  About that $5…well I’ll probably blow that $5 I just saved somewhere else.  Probably on makeup if we are being totally transparent here.
  • I wonder if using fresh sliced frozen strawberries in place of the ice cubes would make it taste better so it doesn’t get as watered down?  I may try that next time.  It’s just a thought as I sit here and reflect.

Before you try this at home, please know there are quite a few different variations of the rip off recipes for this drink when you Google it which was a little overwhelming.  I had a hard time narrowing down which recipe I wanted to go with at first but chose the one that seemed the easiest.

The final verdict is that it was just as good as the $5 a pop original and here’s hoping it helps my milk supply (along with the many other things I’m eating/taking/doing to increase my supply in conjunction with this)

Until next time…

XOXO, Crazy Jess