Gentle Parenting- How To Do It And Why

I often get complimented for my calm way of talking and working with my daughter. It’s something I work on on a daily basis. It can take a lot to remain calm and patient but it’s worth it to me and its the kind of parent I want to be. I never wanted to be a screamer or for my kids to feel fearful to approach me. I am really happy with the parent I am today and have worked hard to become. I always questioned whether or not I was a good mom. It’s something that means so much to me, that’s who I want to be in life. I can clearly see now that I am a great mom. I can see it in the way my daughter talks to me and others so kindly. I can see it in what a sweetheart she has turned out to be. So I wanted to take the time today to share with you all my tips for calm and gentle parenting.

Crying babies and toddler tantrums are some of the most challenging things to deal with. I believe that’s because the way we go about it will have a lasting affect on our kids, either for the good or the bad. So we have to be very careful with the things we say to our children and the way we treat them. I will never expose people personally but I have dealt with that in my childhood. I have had people talk down to me for years and years as a child. The result? I deal with deep feelings of worthlessness and feeling that I only cause problems. That has been deeply engrained in me as a child so it takes work everyday for me to uproot those feelings and convince myself that I am not all those negative things that I had been told. All this is to say, the way we talk to our children WILL have a lasting effect even into adulthood. Children will believe what you tell them. I know some people don’t like to hear that, probably because it would exempt them of any responsibility if it wasn’t true. But these are the facts. You can ask any psychologist. We can cause our children to have long lasting attachment issues that will effect them even into their own marriages. So that is the first rule, think before you speak to your kids. Think of what the lasting consequences will be.

There will be moments when you feel so frustrated with your children that you just want to say whatever it is that comes to your mind. Don’t. When I’m feeling at my wits end and like I can’t speak calmly to my daughter in the moment, I will get my space. Either by having her go to her room and play with her toys for a little quiet time or I will go to a separate room and take a breather for a while. I have found it so beneficial to make sure that I get my quiet/alone time just about everyday. I can either do it during my daughters screen time during the day or when my husband comes home from work. Something as simple as doing my nighttime routine by myself or getting in my workout alone does me so much good. It allows me to reset, calm down and feel recharged for another day with my sweet girl. I used to feel guilty for taking this alone time but I now realize that it’s a necessity for me so that I’m not snappy or irritable with my family. So be sure to get time to yourself. When I do, it makes me happy and excited for the next day to play with my daughter and spend time with her. I feel like a whole new woman. I feel that this is especially needed when you’re a stay at home mom since we are home with our kids 24/7 with no time apart. (My daughter comes in our bed every night so it’s literally 24/7 with us.)

Going back to the way we talk with our children, please be sure not to use definitive negative statements with your kids. For example: “You are so lazy! You just love misbehaving. You never listen to me. You’re always acting up.” Like I mentioned earlier, children will believe what it is we tell them. They’re trying to make sense of the world and understand things. When we tell them something is bad, like a swear word, they believe it to be true and will avoid saying it. When we tell them saying thank you is a nice thing to do, they’ll believe it. So too, if you tell your kids that they are just so bad, a problem child, or always making a mess of things, they will believe it. They will believe that that is who they are and will act accordingly. Like I said, it’s taken me years to fix that negative view of myself that I was taught. I was taught that I am inherently a bad person. Even when negative life events had nothing to do with me, I would feel that I was somehow the cause of it and that I was to blame. So I can speak from experience. I can’t even tell you how deeply this has impacted me, how depressed I’ve felt because of it. I have to work everyday to get myself out of that dark way of viewing myself. We need to be our children’s #1 supporters and cheerleaders. Because if we don’t believe in them, why would they think anyone else would? Parents are the ones that need to tell their kids, “you can do it! I believe in you.” But if in fact we tell our kids the exact opposite, making them believe that they can’t do anything great, then that too is what they’ll believe and it’ll be a whole lot harder for them to think otherwise. They would have to fight to think that they actually could achieve something.

Next, we want to try and reason with our kids. Don’t just take things away, send them to their room, spank them, or yell at them. That honestly won’t do any good. It won’t teach them that what they did was wrong. A majority of them time when you do those things and don’t even talk to your kids, they will have no clue as to why they are being punished. They wont learn from their mistakes and most likely will just do it again since they were never told what they did wrong. During those times, I like to hold my daughter until she calms down. I wait till she’s done crying and in the mean time I like to sway her back and forth to comfort her and bring her cortisol levels down. Once she can catch her breath and talk again, I like to get down to her level. Either I will have her on my lap or I will kneel on the floor so I can be her height. That way your child doesn’t feel intimidated but they can feel more comfortable talking with you. I then ask her things like, “what’s wrong? why are you crying?”, even if I already know why. I like to have her express herself. Maybe sometimes there’s more to her being upset than I know. Once she explains herself I may say something like, “do you know why mama said no or why we cant do that thing?” I’ll let her answer and if she doesn’t know, Ill add to it and explain to her my reasoning. I’ll explain to her too that I love her very much and only say no if its going to hurt her. I’ll tell her things like ‘I want you to have fun but doing that thing is too dangerous, you could get hurt”. When I reason with her like that, it helps her to understand and to not be so upset. It makes sense to her and she can then think of those things in future situations.

We have to remember that children are still people, just miniature. So we have to take into consideration how we would feel in their shoes. I would hate for someone to dictate my every move, turn off my show whenever they felt like it, and say no for every little thing. I believe in respecting my daughter and children in general. I treat her as I would any adult. When we’re about to leave somewhere, I tell her about it and give her a 10 minute warning before we go. I always tell her the day’s schedule because just like we like to stay in the loop of things, so do our children. Even when it comes to her body, if she doesn’t want me to tickle her, than I stop. She started telling me lately that she only wants to be kissed on the top of her head, so that’s what I do. I want her to have certain boundaries with her body and to know that they will be respected. We also used to have a bunch of cutesy nicknames for her but she recently told us that she doesn’t like them; she only wants to be called by her first name. So that is what I do. Kids are worthy of respect, they deserve it. Of course there are times as parents where we have to do something they don’t like, like taking them to the dentist because even though in the moment they don’t like it, its for their own good. But when it’s less serious things, I like to give my daughter the freedom to choose and make her own decisions.

We also want to be conscience of our tone of voice with our child and our pitch. Children will respond to our mood and our way of talking. If we are loud or brash, yelling for every little thing, our kids will act the same, the tension in the house will be high. Whereas if you talk soft and calm, our children will pick up on that and it will help them to calm down too. Even if your current voice isn’t a soothing one, we can train our voices to be smoother and lower. It’s something I had to work on too but overtime it becomes second nature and it will actually become your normal default voice. Our attitude and demeanor will set the mood for our children. If they see that we are stressed and high strung, they will feel it and will begin to act accordingly. But if you are calm and patient, your child will see that there is no need to be anxious and your calming ways will rub off on them.

My last but arguably my most important tip is to pray to God for patience. We all have those days where we feel like we cant do it on our own, we need extra help and support to remain calm. That is what our amazing God and Father is for. It matters to Him how we treat our children since they are in fact a gift from him. He wants us to be gentle and loving with them so he most definitely will be there to help us if we call on him. Patience is a virtue and a quality that God wants us to display. So if we pray to him for some extra holy spirit to help us be good parents with our children, he will supply.

Those are my main tips when it comes to gentle, calm parenting. We want to be careful what we say to our children and think of the lasting harm it could potentially have. We want to show our kids respect, reason with them instead of yelling, and we want to try and talk in a soft soothing voice. And most important, we want to pray for patience. (It is in fact one of the fruitages of the spirit). I hope you guys enjoyed this article and that it helps you in becoming the kind of parent you want to be. Are there any tips you found especially helpful? Let me know in the comments below so we can keep the discussion going.

Till next time

-Paula๐ŸŒบ

How To Always Keep A Tidy Home (Even If You Have Kids)

For this past month, I have really been focusing in on maintaining a tidy, clean home, even with having my little 3 year old. It seems like there can always be a reason why things aren’t clean, and some of them are actual legit reasons. For myself, I found it a challenge to keep things clean when my daughter was a newborn. I feel that that’s a moment in life when you should give yourself grace and not worry so much about chores. You want to instead focus on adjusting to life with the newest member of your family. But even as my daughter got older, I found myself with the same mindset even though the newborn stage was long gone. I have now recently found a cleaning routine that works for me. It’s actually a whole lot easier and quicker to maintain than if I just allow my home to become a full blown mess. The only time now that things will get a bit chaotic is usually only if I’m not feeling well and have to use the day to rest. But other than that, the home is usually easily maintainable. So I wanted to share with you all the cleaning tips that I have adapted to my routine so you too can have an easier time maintaining your home.

  1. This is probably an obvious one but my first tip is to have your little ones help in tidying up their toys. Of course, the amount they can clean will vary depending on how old they are but they can always help out even as a little baby. I’ve always had my little girl pick up her toys for the most part, since she was about 1 years old. At that age, I would have her just pick up a small mess of toys. Now that she’s nearing 4 years old, she likes to help a whole lot with cleaning. She can clean her whole play room all on her own. She loves to help me wipe down surfaces and mirrors and sweep small messes with her mini sweeping pan. I would say maybe about half the time I’ll let her clean up her things on her own and then the other time I’ll help out. That’s usually if I can tell she’s really tired or overwhelmed with the mess. But my rule is if she stops helping out, than I will too and I won’t help if she’s purposely moving in slow motion just so she could try and do less. But our kids are very much capable and even willing to help. They like to feel included and their confidence is boosted after they’ve tackled a hard mess. I know sometimes we have to coax our children and encourage them to keep going but it does get easier and it’s a life long skill that is necessary for them as they get older.
  2. My next tip it to Use your dishwasher! I don’t know why I was so opposed to using mine for the 6 years that I’ve been married but for some weird reason, I didn’t even think of it as an option. Now that I’ve been using it these past few weeks, it has been such a timesaver! I usually take an hour to wash the dishes by hand everyday and sometimes it takes up to two hours! I don’t know why. I was just as shocked as you when I realized that. But I also include wiping down the kitchen counters, stove, sink, and table as part of that time. For me, it all has to be done in order for me to feel like the kitchen is complete. A tip I have picked up from a few youtubers is to load your dishwasher throughout the day and then run it at night. That way when you wake up, all the dishes will be ready to go for the day. You also want to be sure to unload the dishwasher and put them all away in the morning. That way your washer will be cleared and ready for you to load the dirty ones in there throughout the day.
  3. Do one load of laundry each day. That also includes hanging them up and storing them in the dresser too. Laundry is one of the chores that I really dislike. I enjoy putting them in the wash and folding them. I love having clean clothes too. But I just hate hate hate the hanging up process. I don’t know why๐Ÿ˜‚. I think it’s because there’s just always so much laundry to do so it honestly feels like a never-ending task. Especially when you have a toddler who loves to change her outfits about 3 times a day.๐Ÿ˜„ You end up not knowing what’s dirty or clean so to be safe you just end up washing them all! So a tip I’ve heard from others that I’ve also found personally helpful is to wash one load each day. When you do that overtime, you’ll find that your daily loads are so small that it only takes about 10-15 minutes to put them all away. And when it comes to doing any chores you hate (mine is laundry) my tip is to just do it. You’ll often find that it was actually a lot easier and quicker to do than you had anticipated in your head. At least that’s what I tend to find. I often will just wake up and hang up the clothes waiting for me before I even have my breakfast. Since I’m hungry, it often helps me to move quicker and just get it done so I can eat sooner.
  4. Try tidying messes as you see them. Are you cooking and notice that the kitchen floors need a good sweeping? Or has the entry way floor started to track in mud from shoes? Try to clean those things as soon as you see them. I understand that at times we can’t drop everything and clean. We have children to attend to, we may be tired or not feeling well. There’s just often a lot going on. That’s why I say try. I have noticed that it’s easier to stay on top of things if I’m quick to tidy as I go. But I have my days though where I choose not to do it because my body is begging for some rest. So as with this and all the other tips, just incorporate the ones that are a good fit for you and your household. These aren’t hard and fast rules to live by. For example, if I have to make the choice between using my spare time to tidy another mess or spend time with my daughter, I choose my daughter. There will literally always be a mess to clean. I rather focus my time and attention on my sweet girl for as long as I can. They’re only little once so I want to make the most of it. So don’t always stress yourself out about keeping things pristine at all times.
  5. Another tip I’d like to add is to make your bed as soon as you wake up. I just love the look of a made bed but on top of that, I feel that it helps me to get my cleaning gears going so I’m already in that zone. It makes me want to check more things off my cleaning to do list.
  6. A tip for all the mamas out there, I’ve found it especially helpful to put my little girls toys in bins and then putting those bins up high in a closet so she can’t get to them herself. When she was able to reach all her toys, it would be a free for all with every little tiny toy out on the floor. So now, she just has access to larger, easier to clean toys like her music ones, stuffed animals, things like that. For tiny pieces like those Barbie accessories, those all go in one of the plastic containers that I keep in the closet. She has another one for play-doh things, another for arts and crafts and the like. I’ll usually only let her have one bin out at a time so the mess is easier to manage. It also tends to motivate her to to want to clean up those toys that are already out because in order for her to get a different bin, the rule is that she has to first clean up the one she’s working with. I have seen too that if I forget to put the other bins away at night, then she’ll end up dumping them all the next morning at once. So if you do try this one out, dont forget to put those bins back in the closet! But if you want to make the toy messes smaller and easier to clean, you might want to try implementing this trick.

These are my basic 6 principles of cleaning that have helped me with keeping a tidier home. Like I’ve mentioned, don’t beat yourself up if you’re not able to keep things as clean as you would like to. We’re all going through different seasons of life and have our own challenges. I only have one child who is almost 4 so she is very much self sufficient. It’s not nearly as challenging as having a newborn or 4 kids so please don’t compare or feel guilty. (Mom guilt is a powerful thing!) I hope maybe by trying a few of these out, they’ll make your life a little easier and help things run more smoothly. Please let me know in the comments any cleaning tips you have for us all. I’m still trying to learn where I can and could always use more help. I hope you enjoyed this article and until next time…bye!

-Paula๐ŸŒ™

19 Ways To Stay Busy At Home During Quarantine

One of the hardest parts for me with staying home during quarantine is just finding enough things to do to keep me busy. With lock down now lasting 3 months, I’ve been rotating through a list of things that I can do during my time at home. I wanted to share them with you guys for those times when you’ve maybe run out of things to do and can’t think of anymore. Here are my go-to’s:

  1. Adult coloring books– These are so entertaining for me that they’ll keep me busy for hours! It’s also a nice way to unwind and relax at the end of the day while also being creative. Amazon has a so many to choose from. I’ll try linking the one I got, along with the markers, down below.
  2. Spa day– You can take a day or even just an evening to pamper yourself. You can take a bath, do a hair or face mask, do your nails, anything you’d like to give yourself a little extra love and feel better.
  3. Bake new things/ try new recipes– This is one the whole family can take part of. Kids can help with measuring and mixing and everyone can help with eating it.๐Ÿ˜ This activity can possibly keep you and the kids busy for a whole afternoon.
  4. Arts and crafts with kids– I have a toddler girl so I’ve been trying to do one arts and crafts project with her everyday. Pinterest is full of amazing ideas and they often will include common household objects like paper plates, paint, and things like that; so no need to have to go out and buy new materials if you don’t want to. My daughter loves art so she’ll stay busy with these activities for at least 2 hours. It’s such a good way for kids to get creative and use their imaginations too.
  5. Exercise or daily walk– I’ve been trying to make sure to do something active everyday. I’ll either go on a walk with the family or do some Pilates videos at home (they’re free on YouTube). It always makes me feel good, it’s healthy for us, and a lot of the time my daughter will want to join in so it’ll help encourage healthy habits for the kids too.
  6. Weight loss goals– This is something I’ve been focusing on while in quarantine. It’s something that can be fun while you track your progress and find new ways of cooking food for low calorie options. And in the end you’ll most likely feel better about yourself and be more confident.
  7. Journal– Quarantine has been hard for us all so I’ve been finding it especially helpful to journal my thoughts and feelings nearly every day. It helps me to focus on what I can fix and to put things in the right perspective. Journaling helps me to see things as they really are and to not blow them out of proportion.
  8. Work on your makeup skills– Since we have more time on our hands, what better time to try and learn some new techniques from the makeup gurus? I’ve been taking more time when I put my makeup on in the mornings and just enjoying the process. I also try to play around with eye shadow and work with new colors. It can be fun and you can end up finding something that will become a new makeup staple for you.
  9. Knitting or sewing– This is something I did a lot of at the start of quarantine (but now I blog) it can be so nice to make things with your hands and to maybe even gift them to friends.
  10. Make care packages for those in need– It could be for friends or maybe for someone you don’t even know that well but think they would enjoy one. It could be a warm home cooked meal, toys for kids, essential supplies, pampering basket for new moms, anything really. There’s just so much we can do and in the end it’ll help us to feel better too when we give back to others.
  11. Read!– So many of us have forgotten about the simple enjoyment of reading a book or we just put it aside in exchange for highly stimulating activities. I know I did. I’m trying to get back into reading. It’s something that can help expand our thinking and vocabulary, it can take us away on new adventures right from our own home, and if it’s a really good book, it can keep us entertained for hours.
  12. Nap– With all that’s going on in the world, it can really be taxing on us emotionally and mentally. Taking a nap can help us to reset and take a break from it all. Often times we’ll wake up with a clearer mind and maybe have new solutions to problems we’ve been struggling with. We always say we’re tired but with quarantine, we don’t need to be.
  13. Picnic– Making sure we get about an hour of outdoors time everyday has been life changing during this lock down and a picnic can help you do just that. It can help get you out from just being indoors all day and the sunlight can help brighten your mood and make you feel more energetic (at least it does for me๐ŸŒž).
  14. Pool time– If you guys happen to have a pool, you can take advantage of these hot summer days and turn it into a pool day. That can help take up a big portion of your day, and as a bonus, it also makes the kids super sleepy so they’re sure to be more calm afterwards and maybe even take a nap.
  15. Organize– You can use this time to organize those areas in your home that you’ve been wanting to get to but just have never had time for previously. Pinterest has so much inspiration for organizing. I recently just gave my pantry a Pinterest-like makeover. Here’s the article if you need help getting started.
  16. Clean/declutter– You can work on any areas that are starting to get hectic. Now is a good time to clean your home from head to toe as a fresh start. It may be easier to maintain after you’ve done so.
  17. Try starting on those projects that you’ve been wanting to– Have you always wanted to write a book? Start a blog? Or an Etsy shop? Now would be a good time to get those dreams started.
  18. Learn a new instrument– Is there one that you’ve always wanted to learn to play? For me, I’ve always favored the ukulele. It has such a sweet, whimsical sound. You can take the time now to try and learn your favorite instrument.
  19. Soap making– This is a hobby that I still love but haven’t done in a long time. There are so many designs and ways you could make your soaps. There are some you can make to look like gem stones, you can hide a small toy in the center for kids, or you can go the crunchy route and make all natural/organic soaps. The possibilities are endless.

I know quarantine can be challenging (I definitely have those days). What helps me is to try and keep a positive mindset and to keep myself busy throughout the day. It’s OK if you need some days to just reset and not really do much, I need those days too. But overall, I hope this article is able to help you stay busy and maybe even give you a few fun distractions as well.

Take Care,

Paula๐Ÿฆ‹

5 Things I’ve Learned In 5 Years Of Marriage

With my 5th year wedding anniversary coming up (on December 12th to be exact) I thought it’d be fun to share 5 things I’ve learned while being married for these past few years. I am not a marriage expert or counselor by any means, let me just put that out there๐Ÿ˜‚. These are just a few of the things I’ve learned while being married. I hope they help.

  1. Just pick up the dirty clothes from the floor and don’t bicker about it. If your spouse has a bad habit that really bothers you, you should most definitely tell them about it instead of just holding in all that frustration. Hopefully they can improve on their bad habit and eventually stop doing it all together, but I wouldn’t recommend that you point it out to them each and every time it happens. That can get annoying for both of you and lead to arguments over something so small. You don’t want to be bickering with your spouse each and everyday, that just leads to constant tension in the house. Keep in mind too that habits are hard to break. Often times they’re done without much thought, it’s just subconscious. So try and be patient. They’re not doing it to purposely annoy you. Their actually probably struggling to break it. You can bring it up from time to time to try and get them to hopefully improve on it but try not to bring it up everyday.
  2. Don’t compare your mate or your relationship to anyone else’s. Every couple, and I mean every couple, has their challenges in marriage. There’s so much that may be happening behind the scenes that you just don’t know about. There will be areas that another couple may be better in, but your relationship will also be better than there’s in other ways too. Try to work on watering your relationship and it will grow. The grass is most definitely not greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it. A friend told me that and I thought it was so wonderfully said…and true! So bottom line, don’t be jealous of someone else’s relationship because they have issues that you don’t know about, we all do.
  3. Communication is so so important! I know this is one we’ve all heard before, but communication is everything! It helps build trust, it avoids needless arguments, and there’s no confusion. You guys will always be on the same page since you’ve clearly communicated everything that’s going on. Be open and honest and talk about everything. Talk about your goals for your finances as a couple. What is it you want to work on saving towards? Be open with where you want your life to be in 5 or 10 years. Let them know if you feel that life has become stale and you need a change. Be honest about everything: even what you’d like to do for the weekend or what time you expect to be home and if there’s any changes to your plans that may cause you to come home later. It’s not about trying to control the other person, it’s simply having respect. You guys are now a unit and if you come home late, it may change the other ones plans (like even simply what time they should cook dinner, if they’ll be putting the kids to bed by themselves, and more). So just try to communicate what you’re feeling and thinking so there can be as little conflict as possible.
  4. Date your spouse. Flirt with your them, text them throughout the day, send them pictures, or funny things you find on social media, just basically treat them like you did when you guys were dating. It does take an effort to do these things since we can get so caught up in our daily lives and the routine of things. It doesn’t have to be all day that you’re texting them but one or two funny or cute texts can go a long way. They show that you guys are thinking of each other and they help keep things fun and exciting between you too. Don’t forget to dress up cute for them too, wear cute pj’s and things like that.
  5. Look within yourself for happiness, don’t rely on your mate for that. With any relationship, you need to be happy with yourself first. You can’t expect the other person to be the answer. If you are feeling bored or unfulfilled, take up a hobby or new job . Your husband/ wife is a life partner, someone to go through experiences with, to support each other, possibly build a family together, and hopefully have fun along the way. But they should not be the only thing in life that makes you happy or the one that gives you purpose in life. I think it’s important to be your own person first. That way you can add to each other’s life and enhance it. Being another person’s only source of happiness is a lot of pressure and can be draining so if you can relieve them of that, it’ll make everyone’s life easier.

So there you have it, my 5 pieces of advice for the 5 years that I’ve been married. I hope these were helpful and were not so repetitive with the advice people usually give married people. What are your tips for married people or those looking to get married? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Till next time,

Paula Moral

Get The Look- Everyday Fall Makeup Routine (With Pictures)

I often get compliments on my makeup and people will ask what specific products I’m using. So I thought I’d write it all down in one post for you all to reference to. These will be all the products I used to get the look above. It’s more of a fall look with a little glam in it. This is a look I like to wear on most days during this season. It’s got pink eye shadow, burgundy lips and sparkle on the eyes. But I still feel that it’s not too over the top so it’s a look I feel comfortable wearing everyday. All the products I’ll be naming are affordable ones you can find at Target, Amazon, and Walmart. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

1. NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer (clear)

First I should mention that before anything else, I first use witch hazel to freshen up my face in the morning, then I put on some SPF, and then finally I put on this primer. It has a silicone-like texture to it. I spread it evenly all over my face, neck, and eyelids. I really see a difference with my makeup lasting all day. I’ve tried wearing different primers and I’ve also tried wearing no primer at all. Both times, my makeup didn’t last and it would wear off in patches. It looked really bad, blotchy, and like I had bad skin when in reality it was all because of a bad primer. So primer is a must! It makes a huge difference and the kind you wear matters too. Some are just bad quality and won’t work at all.

2. Milani Conceal & Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation & Concealer (#02 Natural)

I really really love this foundation. I’ve seen so many post about it on Pinterest and I can see why. It feels really lite, like you have nothing on your face but it also has really good coverage. It’s just a medium coverage so if you have lumps and bumps on your face, it most likely will still be visible. But if you have redness like me, it’ll definitely be covered with just a thin layer.

3. NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Contour Concealer (Vanilla)

This is my favorite contouring concealer. It has such high coverage and really brightens up your face. It makes such a difference and really does help to contour your face all on its own, even without bronzer. For reference, I use the color “Vanilla”. I do the basic contouring method of putting it down my nose, on my forehead, a triangle under my eyelids, on my chin, and underneath my cheekbones. Then you just blend with a damp sponge (it gives a more flawless finish that way).You want to dab to blend and not smear or pull. It’ll thin out your coverage (if you do smear) and will just show your skins flaws underneath. Whereas with dabbing, you’re able to build on your coverage so you can apply just how much you need.

4. Rimmel London Natural Bronzer (#027 Sundance)

This bronzer gives sort of a thin coverage (I am trying to find a better one) so I just have to layer it on until I get the desired color I want. I just want it noticeable enough so that it actually is contouring my face and not so light that it becomes the same color as my foundation. I apply this bronzer on the top of my forehead and blend into my hair line, beneath my cheekbones, along my jaw and blend down my neck, and then down the sides of my nose for a more narrow look. It will have harsh lines at first along with the blush, but once you put the finishing powder, it’ll help to blend everything out.

5. Milani Baked Powder Blush (#01 Dolce Pink)

Next I apply this blush to my cheeks and I blend it with the bronzer beneath my cheekbones. That’s pretty much it. I, again, dab it on (instead of smearing) for greater coverage. I dab enough until I get my desired color and until it’s all blended with my bronzer.

6. NYX HD Studio Photogenic Finishing Powder

My next step is this finishing powder. It literally is the best! It helps blend all the bronzer and blush together, it softens your whole look, and takes away all the shine. It lasts me all day! It’s not until late in the afternoon when I’ll need to reapply more. I’ve used cheaper, lower-quality ones, but they all just wear off really soon, in about a few hours after I first applied it. So I’ve learned that the quality of the product really does make a difference. You can’t expect quality results from really cheap products. NYX (my favorite brand of makeup) is very affordable and is actually sold at Target and Walmart now. Just as a tip, Amazon tends to sell most of the NYX products for about half as much as the stores charge. I don’t know why, they just do. So if you’d like to save yourself some money, try ordering your makeup from Amazon.

7. Living Coral Palette By: UCanBeMakeup (From Amazon)

Next I go on to eye shadow, probably my favorite part! For this look, I first use the light pink all the way on the bottom left row (called “Wake”) and put that one all over my lid. Then I put the scarlet that’s right next to it (“Youth”) on the base of my lid. I pat it on till I have full coverage all over my eyelid. Then I move onto the deep wine color all the way on the top right (“Dessert Island”) and work that into my crease. I keep it just in my crease and blend it in so there’s no harsh lines. You just reapply if you want a darker color. I would suggest starting off light though since it’s always easier to apply more if necessary. It can get messy if you need to remove it though. I then just apply a bit of the white sparkle on the far top left (“Lifted”) to the inner corners of my eyes for a little pop. And if you have any fall-out from any of the colors, you can just use your finishing powder brush to swipe away any eye shadow that has fallen on your cheeks.

8. Wet n’ Wild Coloricon Kohl Eyeliner (Brown)

Next, I use this eyeliner pencil to line my eyes. I just do a straight line on the sides of my eyes and that’s it. I don’t line the top of my eyes since I feel that it makes them look smaller. I just feel that it flatters my eyes best when I do it this way. But feel free to play around with it until you find what works best for your eye shape. For example, I cannot do a winged liner look. It just does not look good on me no matter how I do it. So although my method isn’t one you see often, it is one that looks best on me. So don’t try and force a look that doesn’t work with your eyes. You may just have to try something different.

9. L’Oreal Voluminous Primer (White)

10. L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara (Blackest Black)

Next are my all-time favorite products, the ones that make the most dramatic difference, this mascara primer and mascara. The primer is so amazing and makes all the difference! I get so many people who compliment me on my eyelashes. They ask if they’re fake and they’re surprised when they learn that they’re not. The primer elongates, separates, and thickens your lashes (just while you’re wearing it of course). You should let it dry for a bit just so it can harden and your lashes can keep that long, thick look. So while I let it dry, I move onto my eyebrows and when I’m done with that, I go back to my eyelashes and apply the black mascara. It’s pretty straight forward when it comes to the mascara. I just sway it back and forth as I work it through my lashes so it can cover them from every angle. I extend it through my lashes on the sides to give a more open look. I also do my bottom lashes. I know some people don’t but I just like the look better that way. I feel that it gives it a more balanced look.

11. E.L.F Instant Lift Brow Pencil (Neutral Brown)

When it comes to my eyebrows, I first brush them through to see what I’m working with. Then I lightly line along the bottom of my eyebrow and the top. I then blend that in with an angled eyebrow brush. I blend it all in until the line I drew is no longer visible. For any sparse areas that need more filling, I just lightly draw it in again and if it looks like harsh, I’ll just lightly blend it again with the angled brush. I might brush through my brows again with the spoolie in case they got bunched up again and I want a cleaner look.

12. NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick (Vintage)

I then move onto my lips. I first always apply lip balm since I feel that it gives your lips a fuller, softer, and more plump look. Plus the color applies more evenly. After I do that, I apply the lipstick. I first outline my lips with the same lipstick applicator. I then coat my lips thoroughly, usually two coats, to get my desired color.

13. NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

My final step is this finishing spray. I thoroughly cover my face and neck with it to make sure I seal it all in.

I hope you guys found this step by step breakdown of the products I use (and my tips) to be helpful. If you guys like post like this, make sure to let me know by giving it a like or commenting so I know to write more. I hope this was easy enough to follow and if I find any new products I like, I will definitely update you guys.

Till next time,

Paula Moral

How To Look Good From Head To Toe

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always looked a mess. I was overweight with cystic acne all along my jaw and down my neck, my hair was always a frizzy mess, and I sometimes suffered with b.o. I would always look up to the beautiful women who always seemed to have it together. They were poised, confident, so fashionable and cool. Everyone wanted to be their friend. I always knew though that I had it in me to be just as great. So from the age of 12 years old, I started my transformation. It has been 10 years in the making but I now can share with you all how I’ve learned to look good from head to toe. Here’s how I learned to be the most confident version of myself:

  1. We’ll start from the top and work our way down. So first thing is your hair. You’re going to want to learn how to style it. Whether you want to use hot tools or keep it au natural is up to you. Just learn how to work with your hair and style it in a way so it doesn’t look frizzy. I personally like to use hot tools for my hair. I only do it twice a week and wash my hair every 3 days. I’ll usually use a curling iron for voluminous waves but when I’m in the mood for it, I’ll use a straightener. You’ll also want to make sure to take good care of your hair too. Do deep conditioning treatments once a week, use a protectant when using hot tools, be kind to your hair, not rough. Damaged hair does not look good and there’s not much you can do when it’s severely damaged except grow it out. There’s also no way of hiding damaged hair so make sure to prevent it and take good care of it now. Also, only dye it a color that is compatible with your skin tone and that is only 3 shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color. That’ll help prevent extreme damage and will help your hair to look more natural. But of course, you don’t need to dye your hair at all. The key is healthy, smooth hair.
  2. Next we’ll move on to our face. You’re gonna want to go to YouTube for this one and start watching some makeup tutorials. I only had to watch a few to get some game changing tips that have helped my makeup to look more professional. What I’ve learned too is that your products make a BIG difference when it comes to the way you’re makeup will turn out. I never thought so. I always thought that they were basically all the same. For example, you might think you have no eyelashes, but it may just be that you’re using the wrong mascara. At least that was the case for me. I always thought I had bad lashes but after switching my mascara, now my lashes are the main thing people always compliment me on. My favorite brand is NYX for makeup. They give you professional results at drugstore prices and I’ve recently learned that if you buy them on amazon, they’re always cheaper…like 50% so! So there’s a little tip for ya ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll make a separate post where I get into all my staple products so you don’t have to waste time and money trying so many different ones and you can skip right to the good stuff. But trust me, upgrading your makeup routine is a game changer! It’ll make you look so much more put together and will make you feel so confident- it’s a must on my list!
  3. Next we’ll talk about your ears or more specifically, earrings. You don’t have to wear earrings, but I always do. I never leave the house without them. I personally am a big hoops girl (it’s just the Latina in me lol) But I feel like even if you have small little studs in, they can help you look so much more fashionable. I’ve also been getting into hair accessories. I like cheetah print head scarves or scrunchies with bows on them. It’s so simple but those little touches really help level up your outfit and tie everything together. I think dainty necklaces are another really nice touch. They’re so feminine and delicate and really spice up any outfit. Don’t be afraid to experiment with scarves or different handbags too. You can find such a great variety and for really cheap too.
  4. Since, we’re working our way down to the underarm area, let’s talk about b.o (other wise known as body odor). So it’s simple: take a shower everyday, wash your clothes weekly and don’t wear anything that has a foul smell. You’re clothes don’t have to be expensive to look good. What’s most important is that they’re clean, smell fresh, don’t have stains, and preferably wrinkle free. Please use deodorant and don’t forget it. Carry a travel one with you as a mid-day refresher. we all need it sometimes, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. And as a bonus, a body spray or perfume helps for you to have a nice feminine scent that people will smell when you walk passed. It’s a nice touch. Also, please moisturize any dry, visible parts of your body (legs, knees, elbows) and please, oh please, if you’re feet are going to be exposed, moisturize those as well. I can’t stand dry, cracked heels. I’m sorry, it’s just a pet peeve of mine. It’s so easy to fix too and does not look good at all when you walk around like that. So please, for my sake, don’t do it. And I know all this sounds pretty simple, but you’d be surprised by how many adults have b.o. Oh and don’t forget to brush your teeth, carry mints or gum with you as a mid-day pick me up to freshen up. And if you always have bad breath, talk to your doctor. It may be something you’re eating or an underlying issue that your doctor may be able to help you with.
  5. Next, we’ll move on to your bra. You’d be surprised at what a difference wearing the right bra can make. If you wear one that’s too small, you may have spillage in the cup area or back bulge squeezing out around the straps. If it’s too big, then it can cause a lot of weird gaping, especially around the cup area. So get sized. You can do it yourself at home. I finally, after about 10 years or so of wearing bras, have finally figured out my correct size! So now my bra outline can’t be seen through my shirt and it’s so much more comfortable to wear.
  6. Now, we’ll talk about clothes. I always feel it’s best to have a certain color scheme with your wardrobe. I tend to have more of an autumn skin tone so in my closet you’ll see a lot of peach, burnt orange, burgundy, olive green, brown, ivory, mustard yellow, blush pink, tones. Having a color scheme with your wardrobe means that you’ll easily be able to mix and match certain pieces since they all work well together. So you’ll be able to have a few pieces but make many outfits from them. Try to find clothes that flatter your figure too. Of course you don’t have to, but there will be some pieces that will look better on you than others (just like with anyone else).
  7. Next we’ll move onto your legs, or more specifically, body hair. So you’l want to make sure you’re shaving often. Everyone’s hair grows at different rates but for me, I pretty much start shaving whenever I see that stubble is starting to form. I want to be as smooth, feminine, and dainty as possible. That means no body hair (including facial, underarm, leg, thigh…you name it.)
  8. Next, we’ll talk about our feet. I think it’s important to have your feet freshly pedicured year round. That doesn’t mean you have to get it done professionally or even that your nails have to always be painted (if that’s not you’re thing). But it does mean that your nails should always be cleaned, trimmed, dead skin and callouses removed, file down anything that needs it, and overall just have smooth, clean feet. I think uncared for feet are very unattractive to just about anyone. And it can be something fun to do. I like to do mine in the night when my daughter’s already asleep. I put my show on, relax, and paint my nails my favorite color of the moment.
  9. Now we’ll touch on weight and fitness. I know that this can be a touchy subject. So this part will just be for those who already do want to lose weight. I personally have always been on the overweight side as I’ve mentioned. I’ve lost 40 pounds as a teenager. I always held on to 10-15 more even after that though. And after I had my daughter I had like 15 more that I had gained. So of the 25 that I’ve held onto after having giving birth, I’ve already lost 15 of it during these past few months and am working on losing the 10 that remains. I have simply been counting calories with the my fitness pal app and doing HIIT workouts 3x a week. But let me just tell you, losing weight is what really makes me feel the most confident of everything on this list. If you’re overweight, you can’t really hide it. No matter what you wear, people will be able to tell if you have a fit and trim body or if you don’t. You can’t hide it. So above all I think if you are overweight, then losing it will make you feel the best about yourself. And I’m not saying to do it in an unhealthy, obsessive way. There are healthy ways of doing it (in my opinion). I’ve been losing just one pound a week and although it’s painfully slow, I know that it’s working so I just need to be patient and stick with it. It’s when people start to become impatient and want to rush the process that they start going about it in an unhealthy way, with crash diets, laxative teas, and the like. And also I’ll just say, I’ve been working out for 10+ years doing everything from heavy weights, Pilates, cardio machines, etc…, and I just have to say that HIIT has been the best by far. You get quick results, you’re able to lose fat, keep your curves, and put on muscle, all while only working out 30 minutes max. So if you’re looking for a new workout routine, I would start off with trying that.

I hope that these tips were helpful for you guys and not at all offensive. I try to be honest while at the same time being sensitive to the feelings of others. This is the truth, this is how i got to be to where I am today. It’s not to hurt anyone’s feelings but to give you the answers that many have asked me. Which of these tips did you guys find the most useful? Which ones would you add? I’d love to hear from you.

Till next time,

Paula Moral

How To Save Up To Buy A House

Buying a house may be closer to your reach than you think. It’s all just a matter of controlling your money and making it work for you. In today’s article, I want to share with you the top 5 tips that have helped us save. I hope these will help you guys too so you can start this new, exciting chapter in your life.

1. My first tip would be to find the cheapest grocery store to buy your food. We previously did our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s (a health food store) but that would easily bring our total price to $200 and sometimes more per week. And we’re just a family of two adults and a toddler! I searched around to see what stores had the best prices for food. It turns out that Walmart has some of the best prices. So I now do the majority of my grocery shopping there. But…surprise, surprise…the 99 cent store actually has a whole lot of produce all for $1! When I shop there, we save $70 a week which adds up to $280 a month! That’s a whole lot of money to save on just one bill! And trust me, I was skeptical about dollar store food too. But we have already tried it for 2 weeks and everything tastes just fine. Nothing spoiled right away or anything. So just give it a try. Maybe you’ll like it too.

2. Another area where we’re saving money is on our electric bill. Im so sorry to say but we used to live with our AC going non-stop! Its so embarrassing to admit. But now, we’re rarely using it and only put it on when the heat is getting to be just too much to handle. Turning on the AC is now a last resort for us. We’ll open the windows, turn off the lights, close the blinds, take a cool shower, turn the fans on, we’ll do all that before we finally decided to turn on the AC. We haven’t gotten the bill back yet but i imagine that we’ll be saving anywhere from $100 – $150 a month minimum. I’ll try to update you guys once we get the actual numbers back.

3. We also limit eating out now to only once a week. That’s something I had already been doing for a while now just for weight loss reasons but now my husband is jumping on board too. So he no longer will order out for lunch while he’s at work. But I take responsibility for making sure he has meals so he won’t have to eat out. If I miss a day for packing his lunch, I wont blame him if he does have to eat out. But its rare that that’ll happen. Lately I’ve been making a lot of crockpot meals so we’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day. I’ve also been focusing on making delicious recipes so he wont miss eating out over the weekends. Often times before, we would go to Jamba Juice and buy a smoothie but now if we’re craving a smoothie, we’ll just make one at home. Its a whole lot cheaper that way. And you’d be surprised how much it adds up when you’re eating out.

4. My next tip is to look through the coupons you get sent to your door. Before we wouldn’t even bother and would just throw them out right away. ( I know, we were super wasteful :/ ) but now I take the time to look through them. I’m not a super couponer or anything so you won’t see me at the store taking out a binder of coupons (not that that’s a bad thing, I’m just not at that level). But if I do see a coupon for something that we use on a regular basis or for eating out, I’ll make sure to save it. For example, just last week I found a coupon for a free pizza. There were no strings attached either, we didn’t have to buy anything else. So last Friday for our day of eating out, we literally spent $0 on dinner. That was amazing to me and quite exhilarating to be honest lol๐Ÿ˜„

5. I’ve also been loving no spend weeks. I often will just do one week at a time and then the following week I will let myself buy something that I’ve been wanting (home decor, makeup, etc…) But lately I’m doing no spend months (since we’ll be moving into our new home in a little over a month) and I want us to save up as much as possible so we can have enough to make the renovations on the house that we’re wanting. I have been loving the challenge of not spending any money though. It really forces me to get creative and to find local events that are going on for free. It makes me do more hands on and nature things with my daughter. It’s been so nice and its getting easier over time. This is now my third week in a row of not spending any money on personal things and I’ve been so proud of myself for it.

As we’ve gone over the numbers to see if we can afford a house, I’ve realized that we’ve had the money all along but because of our mindless spending, the money would just slip through our fingers and in the end we wouldn’t have enough for anything else because we had spent it all on meaningless stuff. But spending like we were was just keeping us in the same situation of living in a small outdated apartment that we really didn’t want to be in. I’m so happy that we’re finally taking control of our money so we can really do the things we want with it and not just waste it. It makes me feel so good too as a stay at home mom because I know that I’m helping my family save TONS just by spending smarter. Sometimes us stay at home moms can feel like we’re not contributing enough to the family but I can see now that I am. By being more mindful with our money, I’m enabling us to be able to buy our own home. If it wasn’t for that, we’d always be stuck in the same boat. Because even if I went out and got a job, with our reckless spending, we still wouldn’t have any money left over.

This experience has helped me to see that we need to be in control of our money so we can take it in the direction we want to go. It all comes down to priorities and about what you want most. If you really want a house, then making these changes won’t be such a big deal. But if you rather have stuff, then that’s OK but just know that you may not be able to save for other things. I hope these tips will help you guys with getting a rein on your money so that you can soon move into a home of your own. It’s such an exciting, new chapter in our lives and I cant wait to share all the details, home decor, remodels, and DIYs that we do on the place. Which tip did you find the most helpful? And if you have any tips of your own, please let me know in the comments below. I’ll take all the help I can get!๐Ÿ˜„

Till Next Time,

Paula Moral

How To Look Like You Have You’re Life Together (Even When You’re A Hot Mess)

My number one pet peeve is when I look a hot mess. I mean, it’s one thing to feel like a mess but its a whole other thing to look it. Just because I’m having a bad day and am feeling frazzled, doesn’t mean I want everyone to know about it simply by looking at me. So throughout this past year, I have especially focused on getting my appearance more put together, even if my life isn’t quite there. I have just always admired women who look so fashionable, polished, and put together. I feel like I’m getting pretty close to the look I want so I thought I’d share with you guys some of the things I’ve learned. Here are the top 6 things I have learned:

  1. Hair- I can’t believe that for the longest time I was walking around with my frizzy, undone hair. It’s embarrassing really. It actually wasn’t until about 6 months ago that I started using hot tools for my hair (like a straightener or curling iron). I was just always worried about heat damage so I avoided those tools by any means possible. But I’ve realized that it’s not worth it if you’re just looking a mess in the mean time. Please don’t be like my former self and go around looking crazy. You’ll be surprised at how much more polished you’ll look simply by straightening your hair or curling it. The key is to keep your hair healthy by using heat protecting creams and giving your hair some deep conditioning treatments. (I can get more into specific products I use in another article.) You want to make sure too that you’re hair is combed through and that you’re not walking around with a bird’s nest on your head. This is something I’ve unfortunately have experienced far too many times so I carry a mini brush in my purse now.
  2. Skin- It took me years before I finally realized that you just cannot hide bad skin. It doesn’t matter how much makeup you layer on your face, if you have bad skin, people will know it. Makeup may be able to hide discoloration but it cannot hide bumpy skin or acne. I could not believe the difference in my skin’s appearance once I took steps to improve its texture. My face looked so smooth and my makeup stayed on better. The major game changers for me were: witch hazel, rose hip oil, and a face brush. The witch hazel helped shrink my pores. The rose hip oil helped lighten my scars. And the face brush helped to smooth out my skin’s texture and get rid of any scars that remained.
  3. Wardrobe- It is so important that you have a wardrobe made up of pieces that coordinate well with each other. If you have a specific color scheme for your clothes, then they will all be able to mix and match. So you can have little clothing but if they work together, then you’ll have so many variations of outfits. You want to make sure you’re wearing colors that compliment your skin tone too. For so long I wore colors that just did not look well on me. Wearing the wrong color for your tone can either wash you out, making you look pale or it can really bring out the red undertones in your skin making your face look cherry red. You should also aim to wear clothes that flatter your body shape too. All body shapes can look stylish, it all depends on what you wear.
  4. Nails- Now, you don’t have to be a girly girl and have your nails painted at all times. Just make sure your nails are well groomed and manicured. They don’t need to have paint on them but they do need to be clean and not jagged or crooked. But if you do paint your nails, just make sure you keep up with them so that the paint is not all chipped. It ends up looking trashy when they’re half painted. It can take less than 15 minutes to touch them up too if you use the quick dry top coat.
  5. Hygiene- It’s simple and I’m sure you all know these but we’ll just do a quick recap. Just make sure you shower frequently, perhaps everyday. Wear a good coverage deodorant and maybe even carry a little travel size one if yours tends to wear off later in the day. Perfume is always a nice touch too. Just try not to wear anything that’s too over bearing. You don’t have to wear perfume if that’s not your thing either. The bottom line is: just please don’t be stinky.
  6. Makeup- During my teenage years, I looked a mess with all my crazy makeup. I would fill my eyebrows in too thick or too dark, I’d use an orange shade of foundation, or wear a super bright pink lipstick. It looked so bad that I cringe when I look back at old pictures! Take some time to try and learn some tips and it’ll go a long way. Simple techniques really improved my makeup look so much. Things like using a sponge to apply my makeup, dabbing my makeup on instead of smearing it on, and using primer and finishing spray so it can last all day. You don’t have to spend hours watching makeup tutorials. Just watching a few videos here and there have helped me to learn so many tips that really changed my whole look. I’ve also learned that less is more when it comes to makeup. So that’s something you may want to keep in mind too.

I hope these tips have been able to help so that even if you’re a mess inside, you can at least look like you have your life together on the outside. These are things that I’ve taken years to sort of master (if I can even say that..lol) so I hope I’ve been able to give you a bit of a shortcut so you can save your time and look fabulous even now. Please leave a comment down below so I can know how you liked it and I hope to see you around here for my next post.

Till then,

Paula