How My Body Changed After Baby

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Ohhhh the body after baby! I’m just not sure that any blog post can adequately encompass the full scope of the changes in your body after having a baby but I, Sass, will try.

I would first like to acknowledge that I am skipping right over all of the changes that occur during pregnancy because I feel like pregnancy is a talked about over and over again while the postpartum situation isn’t talked about enough. And full-disclosure, I had a natural delivery with no complications so I can’t speak to a c-section recovery or any effects of complicated pregnancies or deliveries.

So, to begin, I want to make clear that right after you give birth your pregnant belly does not, I repeat, it does not magically go away. You pop that baby out and still look about 6 months pregnant. This was a major let down for me and also pretty shocking. I was feeling my most mentally and physically drained in my entire life and still had to carry a gut around that I didn’t recognize with NO BABY IN THERE! At least I was pregnant I knew in my mind, and could say to others, “There’s a darn baby in there!”

Anyway, the first 2-3 weeks with a baby are GRUELING (I’d even push that number to 6 weeks). They need to eat every two hours and if you’re breastfeeding like I was that means you cannot sleep for more than maybe 45 minutes at a time. For those who are unfamiliar, newborns can take up to 45 mins to an hour to eat so in doing the math…the baby eats for an hour and then you burp her for 15 minutes (45 minutes) then if you fall asleep right away you get 45 minutes before the baby is ready to do it all over again! You see, it’s every 2 hours from the time they start eating not from the time they finish! I was mentally and physically in awe of what was happening. I cried a lot. My boobs hurt, my back hurt, my wrists hurt, my head hurt, everything hurt including the who-ha! For crying out loud a bowling ball just came out of there, things were not normal!

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So while I was trying to get this whole mom thing and breastfeeding a stranger thing down, I couldn’t sit without a pillow under my butt, I couldn’t sleep, I was wearing a pad the size of a ice pack in mesh panties that needed to be changed what felt like constantly and in lieu of wiping, I was squirting myself with a water bottle. Oh and don’t forget the who-ha numbing spray for the stitches and the ice packs that would go in between the pad and the witch hazel wipes….get the picture?! It’s brutal.

A few months later I started to feel less like a stranger in my own body but I can say that even 9 months, almost 10 months postpartum I am still not normal and at this point I’m not sure I’ll ever be “the same” as I was pre-pregnancy. My body is just different now. Sometimes I have pain in places I didn’t before, my weight is distributed a little differently (yup, a little bit more in the belly), and for awhile there, although it seems to have stopped, my hair was falling out like crazy. This is all “normal” as they say but what’s normal to the world is all new to first time moms.

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My skin is different, mainly from lack of sleep and stress, but the bags under my eyes just never seem to go away. And these are bags on a level I have never seen. My hangovers are worse than ever before. But at this point, even though I don’t physically feel like my pre-baby self, I am down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I went into my pregnancy a little bit heavy so the battle to slim down continues but I have to say that for awhile that was one of the toughest parts about it all…

Ya know when you’re feeling crummy and you start mentally piling on all the shit in your mind that’s terrible: “I haven’t slept in what feels like years, I’m tired, so so so tired, from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep my time and my life are no longer my own…oh, and I’m fat.” It’s awful, it really is, but it’s true. I felt and still very often feel so overwhelmed by being a mom, working, taking care of my family, doing laundry, making dinner, trying to have a social life, everything is hard…oh, and my clothes don’t fit. It’s like this little cherry on top of everything. In the most physically and mentally challenging time in my life I was not at my peak level of physical fitness to handle it and I believe that is a reality that all new moms, even the most fit ones, will have to face at one point. If you are more fit, that time period might be shorter than it is for others and as for me, I’m getting there. I’m almost back……and then I get to do it all over again for baby #2. YAY!

LOL and that’s the thing, I’m making all of this sound awful, and to be really honest, it is sometimes BUT there is a reason people do this over and over again. That reason is obviously the baby. They do make it worth it, maybe not every minute of every day but looking at her now as I write this I know I’ll do it again. And lastly, in hindsight, part of why those first weeks and months are so hard is because you have no prior experience to know that this too shall pass. Your mom, your sister, your friends can all tell you it will and deep down you know it will but it’s the WHEN that is daunting…when will it end? For round two I’ll at least have some idea of what is happening and I’ll look forward to days like today when I can sit on a hard chair without pain, my boobs are not infected from mastitis, and my baby can laugh and hug me. I’ll know that with all the change comes the reward!

Our Favorite Razor

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Processed with VSCO with c3 presetOkay so the backstory first for this post before we get all “I’m your venus, I’m your fire, your desire” on you. So Sweetness posted a pic on our IG story a few weeks ago taking an outdoor shower (nooo not a naked pic) but it was basically a pic of shampoo, a cute towel, and her razor. And that razor just so happened to be a Venus razor. So Sass replies to the story saying OMG we have the same razor, yada yada. And then we go back and forth for about 15 minutes about how great this damn razor is!

We know what you are thinking, every woman and their mom has a Venus razor so not really a coincidence. This is true butttt it was the exact same Venus razor, the pink Venus ComfortGlide White Tea Razor. And not only that, but we were literally chatting back and forth through IG about how great it is without even realizing that we were giving this razor so much friggin props. But what we’ve come to determine is that you need this razor and here’s why…

It glides. Like for real though. Venus has always had great razor blades but this one actually glides on your skin for a reallllllly close shave. It has moisture bars on the side that helps it move right along but this makes shaving so much easier and faster, you don’t even have to think! Well, we don’t recommend shaving without thinking, that could lead to injury.

Talking about gliding, you don’t even need soap! Literally just using water activates the moisture strips and it acts as a built in soap. It doesn’t suds up or anything but the moisture layer between the razor and your skin makes it silky silky smooth. Gone are the days of feeling like you have a razor blade scraping off layers of your skin and shaving in the sink just became much easier!

Probably our last favorite part is the flexibility of the razor head. Most Venus razors do this but this razor head bends and curves to your body in two different ways, which especially helps when getting into those hard to reach areas like our armpits and bikini line.

So there ya have it! We have much love for this razor and since we are besties, we just so happen to have the same exact one… because being besties would be the reason for that, right?!

What is your favorite razor? Tell us below!

Xo Sass and Sweetness

How to Fight the Dreaded Puffy & Baggy Eye Problem

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Are you a new mom, a seasoned mom, a 30-something, a constant traveler, or just someone who had a kick ass weekend at the Beyonce and Jay-Z concert? We don’t know about you but as we age, the problem of puffy eyes and under eye baggage is getting worse and harder to fight! Other than sleep and living a stress-free life, which HA!, just isn’t always possible, we trust a few handy and reliable products to help us fight off, prevent, or simply hide this problem:

The VP Ice Roller
Ahhh the ice roller, you know we love our VP ice rollers! We roll the cold ice roller all over our faces but in particular over our eyes to help ease the puffiness. It feels AMAZING! It also aids in the occasional headache from sleep deprivation so we roll it over our foreheads for some relief! And lastly, it helps tighten our pores! Who doesn’t want tightened pores?! Go.get.one.of.these.today.

Dr. Brandt No More Baggage
This product is marketed to help ease the dark circles under your eyes and reduce puffiness. We found that you have to use the product consistently for about 2-3 weeks before we noticed a change in the dark circles but we immediately noticed the cooling effect. Similarly to the ice roller, it cools and tightens the pores above and under our eyes. We definitely notice a decrease in puffiness after applying this product. We apply it to our under and upper eyes and let it dry before applying any moisturizer or makeup. Get yours here!

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye
This is the holy grail! Seriously this was a game changer for us! We feel human again after using this product! The coverage is amazing but it is still light and what we love most is that it doesn’t ripple or cake under our eyes. A tab of this concealer covers the under eye, a little bit over top of our lids, and sometimes we even use it to smooth over blemishes on the rest of our face. This is a must buy!

So, since the only TRUE remedy for a face free of puffy and baggy under eyes is not always possible, it is just fine to get by with a little help from Vanity Planet, Dr. Brandt, and It Cosmetics, right? Let us know in the comments how you fight off the dreaded puffy and baggy eye problem!

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Our 5 Favorite OGX Products

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Oh hey! Sass and Sweetness here!

Today we are talking OGX – have you heard of them? I’m sure you have because they are the uniquely shaped shampoo bottles with Uh-mazing scents!

Well we’ve been fans of their products for awhile now and guess what? If you walked into our showers right now – you will find two pretty little OGX shampoo and conditioner bottles sitting on the shelf. Oh and probably the body wash too because we are kind of OCD and need everything to match (but we actually like it too!).

So what’s the deal with OGX? They focus on using exotic ingredients to keep their products pure and smelling oh so good! They have evolved over the years, just like our hair has (thank goodness) and have added even more hair products to their line. Check out some of our favorites below that we use on a daily basis – you know unless it’s Sunday and we don’t shower or do anything. KIDDING! …maybe.

1.Marula Oil Shampoo/Conditioner
This is a tough one since there are so many amazing scents and benefits from each shampoo/conditioner. We’ve narrowed down our favorites and have to go with the Marula Oil as a top contender – it’s benefits include smooth, frizz free hair, which is especially important during the summer. We also have to go with the OG Coconut Milk blend because anything with coconut is a favorite in our book! Buy Here

2. Coconut Oil Body Wash
We are going back to the OG Coconut Oil scent with this one. Our skin needs moisture and as we talked about in our own Coconut Oil post (here) there is nothing short of moisture in this natural ingredient. We are also looking forward to trying the Lavender Oil Body Wash because it sounds sooo spa-esque and would be super calming for a night shower! Buy Here

3. Volumizing Mousse
The Bamboo Fiber Full is our go to! We love how it almost comes out like hair spray so you can spray it directly into your roots and it also gives great body! With long hair, adding body is important since it can get weighed down. This mousse gives us the right umph we need! Buy here

4. Quick Drying Thermal Spray
Anythinggg we can do to cut down our blow drying time is a life saver and this product does just that. It protects from heat, makes our hair dry faster, oh and it smells amazing too! Buy Here

5. Bodifying + Bamboo Fiber Full Texturizing Spray
Okay so we have clean hair, sooo much volume, what do we need now? Some texturizing spray to help keep our “do” continuing to look fresh. We recently added this one to the line up but so far so good. One mistake we made was spraying too much, which made us look greasy, so go easy with this one and spray underneath the hair! Buy Here

Have you tried OGX products and what are some of your favorites? We would love to hear below in the comments!

Xo, Sass and Sweetness

How Often Should you Wash your Makeup Brushes?

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Sounds so complicated but in all reality – it needs to be done. It is so important to remove dirt, clumps of makeup and whatever else might be between those tiny bristles. Remember that these babies are going on our faces every day! And though our faces are probably clean majority of the time we are use them, there are definitely times when we do a touch up and the dirt from that day just went from our face to our makeup brush and back to our clean face the next morning…Gross!

Strive (longshot) but strive to clean them once a week. This will help keep the brushes clean and free of makeup clumps too. And it doesn’t need to be complicated either! We use our daily face wash to rinse off the brushes since our skin is already used to using this product. Lay them out on a towel to dry and voila! Clean brushes, clean skin!

5 Tips for Working Out in the Morning!

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Any time that we tell someone we work out in the morning before work they always say – I don’t know how you get up, I could never do that! Wellll we were once in that category and never thought we could either. But one day we did and guess what? It.was.life.changing.

Okay, okay that might sound dramatic but in reality it really is. We honestly have more energy and feel so accomplished before the day even truly started. Also, when the day is over we get to just go home or go to dinner without worrying about going to the gym! It has given us more sense of freedom and we love it. We know it won’t work for everyone, however if you are looking to try the morning gym routine, read some tips below on how we got started and how we maintain the pace throughout the week.

1.Prepare the night before – or else you’re doomed!
Preparation is key. Without preparation it’s never going to work. We pack everything, prepare our lunch, have our coffee cup on the counter, gym clothes laid out, and water in our bags the night before. When we wake up we literally get dressed, brush our teeth, get our coffee and run out the door.

2. Keep as much as you can in your gym bag between visits
We both have a weekend bag that we use to bring all of our stuff to the gym. When we get home that night, we only swap out clothes, bra and underwear, and shoes. Everything else – such as makeup, hair brushes, curling iron, and all toiletries stay in the bag. If we need something that night, like an eye cream, we only take out that one item and put it back right away. This keeps us from feeling like we have to “pack” every night.  

3. Mentally prepare
Not only do we have to physically prepare, it definitely takes some mental preparation. When we start settling down for the night and all of our belongings are ready to go, we always say in our heads – “you are getting up tomorrow, you can do this. Keep in mind how you feel when you don’t go to the gym in the morning.” By having this type of preparation, we are able to always (mostly) get up and not struggle with it.

4. Get yourself on a schedule
We find it easier to stay on a schedule and stick to it. This way we know that Monday through Wednesday we are getting up and going to the gym, Thursday is our day off, and then we’re getting back up on Friday and guess what – it’s the end of the week! This helps us maintain a steady pace during the week and if we want to have a later night out, we usually make it Wednesday since we’re not getting up as early on Thursday.

5. Try waking up at different times when starting off
So we’re not sleep experts by any means, however we do know that it’s better to wake up when you are not in your rem cycle. When we started off, we tried waking up at different times to see what was easiest. There wasn’t a huge difference between the times, however Sweetness found it easier to wake up at 5:10am versus 5:20am (go figure!).

We hope these tips were helpful if you have been trying to switch your workout routine to the morning! Comment below on some tips that have worked for you.

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How Coconut Oil Helps Heal Our Skin & Keeps It Clear

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The low point: We have each struggled with our skin over the years for various reasons. Sass struggles with keeping her skin clear. She went to dermatologist after dermatologist, tried product after product and nothing worked. It was miserably frustrating and quite honestly, depressing. She hated looking in the mirror. Sometimes at night she would stand at the sink taking her makeup off and be in full on ugly tears.

Sweetness experienced the same level of frustration when it comes to keep her skin hydrated. Dry patches and irritated skin are not only frustrating but can also be surprisingly painful! Not knowing which products are going to help or heighten the problem brought on long periods of trial and error. We are sharing this with you to let you know that WE GET IT. Our paths on this journey may be different but we get what it feels like to have skin troubles that change you as a person.

The fix: Now we can’t say that we’ve found a miracle product to make it all better because at least for us, we’ve learned that the only true remedy for clear, healthy skin is living a stress free life. LOL, right, but truly the only time Sass gets a severe break out now is when she is experiencing extreme stress, i.e. the entire year she planned her wedding or when she first had a baby. And Sweetness has come to learn how to best treat the dry patches that would previously make it difficult to evenly apply makeup or make it difficult to be in the sun for fear of drying her skin out even more! So how you ask? We cleanse our skin with coconut oil every day.

All natural: When you have sensitive skin the last thing you want to do is throw additional toxins at it. Products are great, don’t get me wrong, we use plenty of them, but when you’re skin is easily reactive or naturally dry, products contain chemicals and chemicals can have very negative effects on your skin. Coconut oil is a completely natural product with no chemicals, just check the ingredients label, legit all it says is “organic coconut oil.”

Healing agent: For Sass, pimples are a build up of oil and dirt under your pores, right, we all know that but if you think of pimples and acne as wounds on your skin it allows you to treat them differently. The same applies to Sweetness and the dry patches. Topicals and luxury products generally want to dry out your skin but when you get a cut or a wound on your skin in any other place, what do you do? You apply a healing ointment of some kind. Take that logic and apply it to your face. In using coconut oil you are healing and moisturizing your skin rather than drying it out. When we were at the height of troubles with our skin we were so angry at it, we wanted to attack it like a problem but really we needed to heal it and show our skin some love.

Versatility: We buy a tin of coconut oil and use it as a facial cleanser, a body lotion, a hair moisturizer, and although it is a different tin, we also use it for cooking! Sass even used it on her baby bump to prevent stretch marks!

Affordability: We can buy coconut oil at just about any grocery or drug store and compared to prescription and high-end cleansers, it is SO AFFORDABLE! We spend no more than $10 on a jar of coconut oil that lasts for MONTHS! Trader Joe’s also makes coconut oil packets that are perfect for traveling or a gym bag and is only $3.99 for a box of 14 packets!

What you need to know: You want to buy organic, unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil. We use Vita Coco Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, which we literally bought at the grocery store for about $9. When it comes to brands, there isn’t much difference but we like this one because of the shape of the jar! Sounds silly now but when you get to the bottom of the jar we can still easily fit our hands in to get the rest out! Anyway, we use it whenever we take our makeup off and anytime we shower we put it on our face and a little bit on the ends of our hair. We take two fingers worth and rub it on our hands and then rub it all over our skin. We then follow it up with witch hazel to remove any excess makeup. (Just be careful not to get it on your eyes if you have eyelash extensions like Sweetness!)

So, if you are in dire need or are just curious about a more natural way to remove makeup and keep your skin and hair healthy give coconut oil a try! And be sure to let us know in the comments below what are some of your favorite skin hacks! We’re always open to new ideas!