The Birth of Sallie Jayne

 

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Before I share the story of Sallie Jayne’s birth with y’all, let me begin by giving you the highlights of Hassell’s birth. To me, without knowing those details, you don’t understand the full story–why I chose to use a doula + all the differences that took place, even though both babies were born vaginally…at the very same weight. I’m going into exact details during this blog post to document my experience for myself (because we all know I’ll forget with mom brain), but also because I have been asked so many questions about using a doula/midwife team and why I chose what I did! Please feel free to ask any other questions, as I am happy to share anything I missed.

Hassell’s Birth: The Big Picture

My prenatal care was primarily done with a mid-wife (who I loved)…at a big office with multiple OBs + a midwife. From the beginning, I decided I wanted the epidural with Hassell but still planned to use the midwife. My birth plan included the epidural, a preference for naturally tearing over an episiotomy (if either had to occur), delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin, a delayed bath, and “rooming in”, along with a few other preferences. As someone who loves research and has a degree in child development, I felt as prepared as possible for my delivery. I hadn’t really given using a

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doula any thought and (wrongly) assumed I would be fine on my own because I was sure there would be someone to coach me. To sum things up: My epidural wore off during pushing, Daniel and I had no idea what we were doing, my midwife wasn’t there to deliver so I had an OB I had never actually met, I had an episiotomy even though I didn’t realize it at the time and it was strictly against my wishes, my “delayed” cord clamping was delayed for about one minute, and I didn’t get to experience immediate skin to skin. In the end, I had a beautiful (large) baby boy….but not at all the delivery I had in any way hoped for.

Sallie Jayne’s Birth Story

Background info: In the middle of my pregnancy with Sallie Jayne, we found out that Daniel would be getting sent to Fort Rucker, AL, for flight school with the army. This meant we would be moving 7ish hours away when I was 32 weeks pregnant (with a toddler at home, too). After panicking a little, I convinced Daniel that we needed to hire a Doula for this pregnancy/birth. I mainly wanted to use a doula in the chance that no family was able to come down in time for her birth and to have someone who could recommend prenatal care/hospitals/etc…I honestly wasn’t fully on the “you NEED a doula” train yet. I had a phone consult with Danielle and immediately loved her. She sent me tons of info on the various doctors, midwife, and hospitals in the area + helped me create a much more detailed (and educated) birth plan for Sallie Jayne. Even though we hadn’t made it to Fort Rucker yet, she was there for text/e-mail/phone support any time I had questions! Once we arrived at Fort Rucker, I met with her (even before meeting my midwife here) to go over everything we had discussed and make sure I didn’t have any other questions. After my experience with Hassell, it was important to me to choose a doctor/midwife I loved and trusted over a “well-known” facility. I chose to use a midwife (Megan) at a smaller hospital here. Everyone online absolutely raved about her and after our initial appointment with her, I immediately knew why. I discussed my first birth with her and the birth I hoped to achieve this time around. I talked with her about the decisions I had made with Danielle (as a doula doesn’t give medical advice, only support and education about options!) and asked her a billion questions. With Sallie Jayne, I decided that I wanted to have as natural of a birth as possible. I did not want the epidural, I wanted freedom of movement and intermittent monitoring, I wanted to avoid an episiotomy if at all possible, I wanted immediate skin to skin, etc. After Megan assured me that all those things were very possible, I left that appointment feeling super reassured about my decision. Danielle met with Daniel and I a couple more times before I went into labor. She helped him learn some comfort techniques to use at home before heading to the hospital and answered all the thousands of questions I had.

Sallie Jayne’s BIRTH day…

7:15AM— I woke up feeling contractions (or so I hoped) about every 10-15 minutes. I was unsure if they were “real”, as I was at 40 + 2 and had been having prodromal labor for a few days. I decided not to get my hopes up but went to let my mom and Daniel (who were in the living room with Hassell already) know. I decided to get in the shower and get some cleaning done to see what happened.

8:16AM–After showering and hanging out a little while, I was pretty sure I was in actual labor. As agreed on before, I texted Danielle (my doula) to let her know what was going on. My contractions were uncomfortable, but easily manageable and I was able to walk around/start doing my make-up in between them. Danielle answered to let me know that she would be on Fort Rucker’s base meeting with other families until about 12:30 and to keep her updated. Ironically, I thought this would be perfect–I could labor at home and then she could swing by whenever she finished her meetings. Little did we know, Sallie Jayne would be born by 12:24pm that day! I agreed with Danielle that I would let her know when my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart.

For the next two hours, I tried to get ready to go to the hospital (aka finish my make-up and hair…never made that happen, haha) and make sure everything else was ready to go. I asked Daniel to have everything ready in the car, I arranged for my mom to go get our groceries I had ordered for pick-up at Walmart and to take Hassell with her, and I tried to listen to one of the “labor playlists” I had created on my phone. My contractions became more and more intense, super quickly. I needed to focus each time I had them and really couldn’t do anything besides sit on my exercise ball I had been using during pregnancy.

10:17AM–Finally, I decided I had to text Danielle because they were coming very quickly and I needed her advice. (In my mind, my pain was mostly in my back and becoming constant, much like the back labor I experienced with Hassell. I was unsure if I was tracking my contractions correctly because everything seemed to be happening so quickly). I sent her a text with my concerns and also with a screenshot of my contraction timer. At that point, I had moved to laying down on our bed and had given Daniel my phone. Danielle immediately called but I was in too much pain to answer, so I put Daniel on the phone. He described my situation as best he could, and she immediately said she would be right over. I tried to relax (as much as possible) and close my eyes.

10:23AM– Danielle arrives at our home–Thank goodness! She immediately came back and started applying counter pressure to my back. She asked if I wanted her to check me (she’s a former L&D nurse), and I said yes! She found I was already 5-6cm dilated and 90% effaced and suggested we head to the hospital. Daniel rushed to load everything into the truck and Danielle helped me get dressed…which took a little while between contractions.

At this point, my lovely husband (I really do love you, babe) runs in the house to tell me we have to stop and get gas on the way to the hospital….y’all. If you have ever thought you wanted to kill your husband, you can only imagine the wrath I felt. Soooo to all you lovely pregnant mamas out there, be SURE all cars have gas in them constantly from 36 weeks forward, haha. 

10:37AM–We head to the hospital…all the while stopping for gas, where I can just remember closing my eyes and trying to not let everyone see that I was in labor! This felt like the absolute longest ride ever. When we were about 5 minutes from the hospital, I got sick in the car and was sure (in my head) that I must be in transition because I always read that people got sick during that part of labor….side note: I wasn’t yet.

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11:03AM–We arrive at the hospital, check in, and head to labor and delivery! Once I got into a room, the L&D nurse checked me and found I was at 6.5 centimeters and 100% effaced. For some reason (probably the vomiting episode in the car), I thought I would be much farther along. When she told me I was 6.5 centimeters dilated, I got super discouraged and decided I DID, in fact, want the epidural. In my head, I was only able to concentrate on the pain. Daniel reminded me that I had planned not to have an epidural and Danielle began reminding me of all the reasons I had chosen not to get one…At this point, y’all. I didn’t care. I grabbed Daniel’s arm and demanded I get the epidural. Danielle reminded me that I would have to get a whole bag of IV fluids first and be checked again before I got one. My inner voice was telling me that I didn’t care what it took–just get me the medicine. What they all knew, but I didn’t realize is that my labor was going much too quickly for me to need or have time for it. The nurse began my IV and everyone focused on helping me work through the pain.

Danielle was watching the baby on the monitor during this time (along with the nurses) and noticed Sallie Jayne was still doing great. She asked if I could be taken off the monitor for a little while (this is something I had wanted in my birth plan) and the nurses agreed. When Danielle told me I needed to get up and moving, I’m not going to lie. It was the absolute last thing my body felt like doing. She had me sit on the birth ball she brought with her, and I realized she was right! THANK GOODNESS for her knowledge and gentle encouragement because this helped me speed things along + be able to focus on the contractions, not just the pain. She gently reminded me each contraction that I would be feeling “pressure” and had me match my breathing to hers. She also instructed Daniel on how to help and support me. Y’all, this was an absolute lifesaver and all things we didn’t have my first delivery!! Unlike a midwife or an OB, your doula is there with you the entire time!

12:03PM–Danielle is applying counter pressure to my back, I’m sitting on the birthing ball leaning on Daniel, and Daniel is kneeling on the ground in front of me when my water breaks! I was checked immediately after and found I was at 9cm. The interesting thing is–I felt so much calmer and able to focus during this time (even though I was super dilated). I am 100% chalking this up to Danielle’s guidance and support. When my water breaks, I realize that there is no way I’m going to have time for the epidural. At this point, I could feel my whole mindset shift. I became much more determined and “ready”…which was good because my body was feeling like I was ready to push.

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12:13PM–Megan arrives and gets dressed (she came in specifically for Sallie Jayne’s birth)! She has me begin pushing just a little while later…which felt like it took forever but I realized after that I actually only pushed for 10 minutes.

12:24PM–With one last push, Sallie Jayne enters the world. The coolest part is that Megan allowed (and even encouraged) Daniel to “catch” Sallie Jayne and assist in the delivery.

She was immediately placed onto my stomach by Daniel. We waited for the cord to stop pulsating (about 5 minutes), and then he cut the cord! I pulled Sallie Jayne onto my chest for skin to skin time, and she latched easily to begin nursing a few moments later.

Our baby girl was 9 lbs 12 oz and 21″ in length….the exact same weight as her brother.

This time, I was able to birth Sallie Jayne with no epidural, all my birth plan followed, and no episiotomy (which everyone previously assured me I needed because the size of my baby). I give ALL this credit to Danielle and Megan, Danielle for helping me through labor and Megan for being an incredible midwife–super knowledgeable and patient at every prenatal visit and in delivery. No matter what kind of birth you plan to have, I highly recommend using a doula and carefully choosing your medical providers. It truly can make all the difference. 

Have other questions I didn’t answer or thoughts on this post? I’d love to hear them! Please feel free to reach out to me at any time!

**All photos taken by Danielle Sollars, my doula who is awesome and additionally does birth photography! Newborn squishy baby photos below!

 

Blocks + Water = A Free Sensory Experience

164c52f3-1db3-4b12-832b-584e42f926edIt was “Day 1” of our new summer schedule. My little guy was thrilled to go outside and ride his bike/slide…until he decided he wanted to run back inside. I predicted that he wouldn’t automatically want to stay outside the whole time, so I was well-equipped (or so I thought) with another activity. Since dividing up his toys for toy rotation, I have specific containers for various types of blocks. These stay at the top of his closet until we get ready to pull them out. This helps them seem “new” and gives me lots more toys to rotate through. These specific blocks hadn’t been pulled out to be played with since our move AND they were plastic–aka easy to clean–so I thought they’d be the perfect tub to take with us outside!

Once I told him that we were staying outside longer today instead of running back and forth constantly through the house, I pulled out the blocks. He was excited and immediately began to play with them. He built towers, he knocked them over, he stacked them just to pull them a part again. He used them for pretend play; you can see him using them as a camera in the photo above. It was all going really well for about 10 minutes. Then, I could sense the boredom coming on. He began to get destructive and start to whine. My mom brain filled with dread. We still had 30 minutes of “outdoor play” scheduled at this point. I didn’t want to deal with tantrums and wanted this to be fun for him!

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Luckily, my toddler teacher brain kicked in and began to think of resources I had available that might interest him. If you know me (or anything much about child development) you know how much I support sensory play. The National Association for the Education of Young Children deems that sensory play is “essential to the classroom for higher-level learning.” There is an abundance of research that backs just how vital sensory learning is for children of all ages! (If you’re an early childhood teacher, read this short article for ideas, support, and research on sensory play in the early childhood classroom!) Even though I’m not working with Hassell in a classroom setting, the same research applies. I decided that I would fill the plastic tub holding the blocks with water. Water is an awesome sensory tool that we obviously have plenty of + we’re in southern Alabama. It’s hot, y’all. This is perfect for any mama to do at home, even with kids that are older. Check out all my reasonings why below…

 

Goals/Developmental Focuses/Benefits of this Activity:

  • Allows hands-on learning that creates a sensory experience for my toddler
  • Water play can be calming/soothing for all ages!
  • Introduces higher-level thinking concepts like volume and density
  • Aids in language development as we converse back and forth
  • Furthers creativity with open-ended play–>Children desperately need to work with materials that don’t have a given end result
  • Super easy clean-up!

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My Observations & Thoughts:

  • My toddler was immediately drawn to the idea of something new and “messy”! I didn’t have to try to pique his interest at all…he was thrilled from the start.
  • After we first added the water, he stuck his hands in immediately and began splashing around. This continued for about 2-3 minutes with no real “purpose”.
  • He continually looked up at me to smile or to gain approval. I feel this was because our activity was “messy”, and he was trying to gauge my reaction.
  • After the initial splashing phase, he began to really engage with the materials in several different ways. First, he filled the blocks with water and then dumped them out, back into the container. Next, he began pouring the water from one block to the next. Eventually, his play took a creative turn as he began to use the blocks for “coff-coff” (coffee). 
  • During this activity (about 20 minutes total, not including set-up or clean up), I did not have to use any redirection. He was focused and intent on his play. I was able to sit back and observe mostly, as I tried not to interrupt his work.

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Overall, I would highly recommend trying this at home! Especially if you have multiple children or need a play-date activity, this would be beneficial…as I feel like the children could share ideas and piggy-back off each other! In a future post, I will go more in detail on my thoughts about water play at home (which will be a big focus for us this summer), what water table we use specifically, and other things you can do at home for free! If you liked this post or found it helpful, I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to share with your friends/other mamas and be sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter–that way, you won’t miss any highlights or giveaways! As always, have a wonderful week!

 

Resources:

https://www.naeyc.org/resources/blog/importance-sand-and-water-play

Setting Up for a Successful Summer: Introducing a Home Schedule

img_4126If you don’t follow me on social media and haven’t already heard, our family just made the move to Fort Rucker, AL, while my husband completes some military training! While extremely exciting for our family…it is also a little bit nerve-wracking to think that I am about to go through an entire summer of being at home–in a brand new state– with a toddler and a newborn. Any other mamas feel me?! Instead of panicking in my 35-week pregnancy state of mind, I’ve decided to be proactive…

With my background in early childhood development (specializing in prenatal-8 years), I’ve worked with children of just about every age. Some of this work has been in a classroom, some in a research setting, and some one-on-one. I’ve found that every single child I worked with benefitted from having a schedule to follow–clearly supporting what all ECE research will tell you. It allows them to have some sort of routine to their day and to know what to expect, when much of their life is out of their control. Even though I’ve been big on keeping Hassell on a nap schedule and having basically the same night-time routine since birth, we’ve never really been on a schedule at home. If I’m being totally honest, he basically just runs around playing with whatever toys he wants while I try to do housework or put him in the car to run errands or get a little work done answering e-mails/texts or do any one of the billion things on my to-do list each day…all while praying for a good nap. I’ve never even really given much thought to having him on a “schedule” as I would in a toddler classroom at home. We’ve just been surviving these first two years!

But with all the change and the onset of turning two, I’m trying to respectfully meet his needs as much as possible. After much thought, I decided to try putting him on a daily schedule. Here are some of the benefits I’m hoping to see (fingers crossed):

  • Known and expected routine of daily events
  • Less destroying my house
  • More productive play
  • Less boredom with toys
  • A calm, happy environment
  • Easier transitions
  • Less meltdowns

By creating a daily routine schedule for our home, I have committed to also doing certain things at certain times of the day–so hey, maybe my laundry habits will improve! I am also committing to planning activities ahead for him and ensuring that we keep his toys organized and labeled for toy rotation (a HUGE benefit in my opinion). Of course, this schedule will have to be flexible…especially when Sallie Jayne is born in a month. But, honestly, we’re two days in, and I’m already seeing huge benefits!

Our Current Schedule

  • 7AM Breakfast
  • 7:30AM Screen time (I clean up from breakfast and prep daily activity for him)img_4102
  • 8AM Work in playroom, utilizing toy rotation (I plan to leave 3-4 toy options out each week, rotating through all his current toys periodically)
  •  8:45AM Get dressed for the day
  • 9AM Outdoor play (We have a nice patio/backyard but also often walk to playgrounds near by! For rainy days, I’ll have special activities to pull from here.)
  • 10AM Snack/Screen Time (My Cleaning Time)
  • 10:30AM Art Activity at Kitchen Table (Lunch prep is during this time!)
  • 11AM Lunch
  • 11:30AM Nap
  • 1:30ish Work in play room, utilizing toy rotation (Flexible depending on what time he wakes up. He usually naps 2-2.5 hours!)
  • 2:30PM Snack/Outdoor Time/Errands

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The rest of the day is pretty flexible! A lot of times, we run errands in the afternoons. Some days, Daniel is home early. When he gets home, Hassell immediately wants to see him and play. Other times, we have family events we go to in the afternoons. So far, this has been working really well for us!

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The first day, he was a little confused when I told him he had to stay outside and play or that we had to stay in the playroom to play, rather than doing whatever he wanted all over the house. We didn’t have any tantrums, but he definitely began to whine and protest. This is when I introduced some fun, developmentally appropriate planned activities–enter toddler teacher mode here! Over on my Instagram account, I took a little poll and 100% of y’all voted YES to me sharing the activities I’m planning for Hassell. I won’t go into details in this post, but stay tuned! Most of my next posts will be all centered around ECE developmental play activities you can do at home.

I’d love to learn more about what works for your family! Did you find this post helpful? Have other questions? Please take your time here and don’t forget to stop by and say hey! Have a wonderful week!

 

 

3 Reasons to Join Me in December

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You’ve heard me talk about how I run a successful Perfectly Posh business before; Now, it’s time for you to consider joining me! Before you stop reading, let me ask you a few questions…

  • Are you completely new to the idea of running a network marketing business?
  • Have you tried another direct sales business before and failed?
  • Could you use an extra few hundred dollars each month?
  • Do you already love Perfectly Posh products?
  • Have you never tried Perfectly Posh before?
  • Are you interested, but hesitant because you probably don’t know enough people to make your business work?

Yes? Good. I want to personally mentor you! 

Did you know? Each month, I open up five spots to mentor new Magnolia Posh Babes. That means I take five people under my wing to help them succeed in their new business as quickly as possible. I give them all the tools to be successful. I am available 24/7 for any support or questions they need. I send them a starter gift to get their business up and running. I check in on these awesome new members. This month, I want that spot to go to you! So, incase you’re on the fence about your decision, I’m sharing my Top 3 Reasons to join my Perfectly Posh team in December!

Reason #1: The December Starter Kit is DOUBLED!

Yep, you read that correctly. When you join in December, you’ll get doubles of our top seller items in your Starter Kit–which means you’re snagging a $304 value for only $99! If you’re part of a military family, you’re snagging a $304 value for just $85 as part of our Posh Salutes program. I mean, seriously, just look at this kit! img_0013

Are you a BFF or Moisturize 911 lover? Those are my absolute top go-to facial products, so I’m drooling over this offer. My customers LOVE them also! Let’s say you want to buy the kit and immediately earn your money back….

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This gives you the perfect opportunity! Keep one of each item for yourself and sell the matching product to a friend or family member. BOOM! You’ve just shared your favorite products, acquired your first customers, and earned your kit expense back…up to $143! Sound overwhelming? Don’t worry. I can help you with this immediately if you decide to join! In addition to my personal support, you’ll receive a free website and unlimited free training with programs to help you immediately succeed, however you decide to work your business. Click this link for more info or to join me right now!

Reason #2: INSTANT Commissions

img_9500Did you know? Perfectly Posh pays you instant commissions! That means, when one of my customers places an order for more Posh, I instantly receive the money earned from that order on my card. Y’all, this is beyond helpful for my family. There are so many times that I am sitting somewhere not thinking about Posh at all, and I receive an e-mail that money just hit my account. On various occasions, this money has honestly come at the absolute perfect time for me, giving me extra cash for things like gas, groceries, a surprise I wanted to buy for Hassell, an unexpected bill we had to pay, etc. I absolutely LOVE our pay plan. Incase you’re super curious like I was, here are some of my favorite details…

  • We offer a compensation plan based on FULL RETAIL volume. No wholesale math!
  • You get a 5% raise after you sell your first $1,000!
  • Consultants earn Perks and Hostess Rewards on their own purchases, adding tremendous value!
  • Consultants earn rich bonuses on Rank Advancements–up to $5,000!
  • The Monthly Award & Annual Award can help add hundreds to your check each month!
  • Premiers & above (leaders) are eligible for a monthly bonus pool in addition to commissions and downline/generational bonuses!

Reason #3: A Supportive, Encouraging Community

When you hit that “Join” button, you’re not just purchasing a kit with some awesome products. You’re being welcomed into the most supportive sisterhood you could imagine–not just within my own Magnolia Posh company but the Perfectly Posh company as a whole.

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To be honest, I didn’t even understand this when I joined. I joined for the discount on the products alone! But, I later realized I had just entered a community of women who were extremely powerful and who honestly wanted to help me succeed as much as possible. They wanted to love on me and encourage me and be my friend for exactly who I was.

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Perfectly Posh is a pampering business. We’re consultants who feel it’s our mission to make sure our family, friends, and customers are taking time for themselves. Taking time to experience self care. Taking 30 seconds every day to feel cared for and pampered. It’s what’s important to us. So, if you’re someone who needs a “girl gang”, wants to best serve the people around you, and want a business you can be fully supported in…come join us. My Magnolia Posh team is waiting for you!

Feeling like you’re ready to say YES to this new adventure? Click here to claim one of those personal mentor spots now!

Feeling like you’re interested but have questions? I 100% understand! Shoot me an e-mail (magnoliaposh@gmail.com) and let’s chat. No question is unheard of. No, I won’t bug you 93720234x after you contact me. We’ll have a conversation, and that’s it. Let me know what you’re wondering about…

 

The Ultimate Home Pampering Experience

Hello, friends! It’s been awhile. Quite honestly, life has gotten crazyyy, and I’m just way behind on my blogging. However, I absolutely HAD to make time to share with you my latest pampering experience because…y’all, it is life-changing.

I know, I know. You think I’m being dramatic. Just wait though! I’m breaking it all down and challenging you to give it a try at home…Then come back and let me know what you think!

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Have you ever heard of “dry scrubbing” to pamper and exfoliate your body? Yeahhh, I hadn’t either…until one of our awesome Perfectly Posh leaders challenged us to try it. See, I often care for my face but kind of ignore the rest of my body. Not the best self care tactic. But, I agreed to give this a try, mainly out of pure curiosity.

So…here we go. I’m about to share my exact experience with you, thoughts/tips/things to avoid and all. Let’s get started!

My Experience

After reading all the benefits of doing a dry scrub on your body from time to time (if you want all the details/benefits, keep reading), I was intrigued. I decided to take 45 minutes to an hour to try it for myself tonight. I gathered up my supplies (I used all Perfectly Posh products, but you could totally do this with any body scrub/pumice stone/bath bomb/bubbles) and got right to work.

Step 1: Choose a body scrub or polish.

As a Perfectly Posh consultant, I seriously have so many fun products to play with. For this little experiment, I decided to use one of my favorite scrubs: Of Quartz, Girl! You can choose any body scrub or polish; I just loveee this one. The rose quartz helps balance my mood as the scrub exfoliates and moisturizes my skin. When you use this on a normal basis, I’d consider the scrubby level medium. However, it was SUPER scrubby as a dry scrub. If you’re leaning towards a little less exfoliation, I’d definitely go with a body polish to be more gentle!

Step 2: Apply the scrub BEFORE showering/getting wet.

After I chose my scrub, I popped it open and immediately began to try and apply it on my skin. Um, that was a huge no. Learn from my mistake: make sure your body is actually inside the bath/shower as you do this unless you’d like to be scrubbing the floor after.

Round two: I hopped in the shower and started again. Honestly, I was kind of at a loss. I had never even thought about applying a scrub to my dry skin. I scooped some up with my fingers and immediately began rubbing it on my chest. Y’all, it freakin’ hurt. I’m not going to even lie. I was scrubbing wayyyy too hard at first. If you’re going to try this, take it from me…be EASY when you scrub.

Once I figured that out, I kept applying until my whole body (neck down) was covered. By the time I reached my legs, I had gotten the hang of the dry scrub thing. My thoughts at this point? 1.) It feels okay, pretty good on my dry skin but nothing spectacular. 2.) I’m using a LOT of product doing this, so my results better be good. 3.) I can tell already that my skin probably needed this.

Step 2a: Use a pumice stone or a Snarky Bar to scrub tough areas. I used a Snarky Bar on my knees, elbows, and feet!

Step 3: Rinse off in the shower.

At this point, I was intrigued but not expecting anything glamorous. I turned on the shower…and decided I had never been more wrong the second the water started to hit my body.

Holy freakin’ moly it felt amazing on my skin! The contrast was immediately noticeable. I just kept thinking, “Oh my gosh. Has my skin ever felt this good in my entire life?! Why haven’t I been doing this for years? My skin feels better now than it has…ever.” I get it. I sound dramatic, but I am-not-kidding. Even now, typing this a few hours later, my skin still feels RIDICULOUSLY soft and refreshed!

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Step 4: Soak in a hot bath.

Yes, technically you could skip this step. Trust me, though, you don’t want to. After I rinsed all the scrub off and had my skin feeling super soft, I ran some hot water to relax in a bath. Remember, this is a pampering experience for you. Take this time for yourself! I used a Fall bath bomb and some Bubble Up to make my bath extra relaxing without any of the sulfates/bad chemicals/junk that comes in a lot of bath products. I just laid back and allowed myself time to think and take some deep breaths.

Step 5: Moisturize.

Finally, I hopped out of the bathtub and chose a moisturizer to use. Honestly, I am NOT a lotion girl. But, I do love to use Honey, Honey Body Creme in the winter. I decided to go with that one to keep my skin super soft without having to wait forever for it to dry! Choose whatever lotion/body butter you like here.

Andddd, there you have it. You’ve just provided yourself with an incredible pampering, spa-like experience right in your own bathroom. I plan to do this once a month from now on! Let me challenge you: Give this dry scrub challenge a try. Afterwards, come back and let me know your honest opinion. What did you think? Did you like it, love it, or hate it? What products did you use? Until then, happy pampering!

Winter Routine for Soft Hands

With cooler temperatures fast approaching we hope, the last person I want to be is that girl with dry hands that scratch against my pants every time I accidentally brush them.img_7065 I can literally hear/feel what I’m describing as I’m typing this. With the average person washing their hands 10 or more times a day, how are you supposed to prevent the dreaded scratchy hands from happening?! Check out my winter routine for soft hands below…

Step 1: Swap Out Your Soap

If you’re like me, or previous me, you probably hadn’t given much thought to what liquid soap you’re buying. You just want something that gets your hands clean and smells nice at the same time! (I was an avid bath and body works girl before this, y’all. I get it.) But, once Perfectly Posh introduced their foaming hand soaps and I gave one a try…I won’t ever go back. The difference is amazing. Even when you’re lathering your hands, you can feel how moisturizing and creamy the soap is. Our soaps have no sulfates and are instead filled with coconut-based cleansers. By only making this small swap in my kitchen and bathroom, I immediately noticed softer hands! Plus, I go around smelling my hands for a solid 10 minutes after. My favorite scent is even on sale right now! Go check it out here.

Step 2: Exfoliate 2-3x a Week

I’ll be quite honest– exfoliating my hands was never something I did before incorporating this new routine into my life. Exfoliating my body? Yeah…but my hands specifically? Nahh. However, it makes a hugeee improvement in how my skin feels when I focus on using a scrub 2-3x a week.

I keep it super simple by leaving one of my favorite body scrubs in my bathroom next to my hand soap! After washing my hands, I scrub them with Of Quartz, Girl (my current pick) and give myself a mini-mani. I highly encourage you to try it! Plus, it gives this mama a 5 minute pampering break to breathe and decompress in the middle of my day.

Step 3: Moisturize With a Hand Creme

Ever used a lotion that left your hands feeling so greasy you couldn’t even turn a doorknob? Yeahhh, that’s my worst nightmare. It’s why I avoided using hand lotion at all costs before I found Posh’s “Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme”. Thankfully, our hand crèmes are made with non-greasy apricot kernel oil for long-lasting moisture that absorbs quick so you never have to worry about a wait time after using!

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Feel like you need an extra boost of moisture because you suffer from super dry hands? I’m loving that Posh added an intensive lotion, Working Girl, for just that reason! The “ultra-restorative, patented complex works as hard as you do to revive dry, cracked hands and help prevent moisture loss and future dryness…enjoy the soothing, amazingly hydrating blend of apricot kernel oil, natural ceramides, and plant phytosterols as it quickly soaks into skin.” These Winter Extra scents are amazing, but you can order any of your favorite scents directly to your home by visiting the website here.

Have any other tips for avoiding dry hands this Winter? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments! Be sure to let me know what you think of this article and any other topics you’d like to see featured on the blog. I hope you have an awesome week! 

 

5 Ways I Run a Successful Perfectly Posh Business

img_7792The most common question I’m asked when people are considering joining Perfectly Posh as a consultant and starting their own business is- “How much work do you have to put in?” 

Typically, I smile and reply, “Well, how successful do you want to be? How much money do you need to see each month?”

Because, y’all, being a Perfectly Posh consultant means owning the fact that you have a business to run! (Notice how I keep using bold for the word “business“.) You have customers to check in on, samples to make, thank yous to send! If you want to see real, business profits,

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you have to decide when you join that you’re going to run a real business and complete real business tasks.

Or hey…don’t! Just use it as a little extra cash here and there. That is also 100% okay! My team is filled with both kinds of women.

But, if you want to go for it, you better be ready to work! And now that my rant of the day is over…..

 

Let’s chat about what I do as a Perfectly Posh Consultant

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#1) Get Posh on the People!  

The fundamental way I grow my customer base and profit in sales is by getting samples out to anyone and everyone who would like to try them! I use my social media platforms to offer free samples, I carry them with me at all times, I send them to previous customers with a thank you note for their purchase. There are a billion ways to get samples out! And then? I check back in on them!

I personally loveeee sharing samples! The entire reason I joined Perfectly Posh in first place was because I fell in love with the products. Why wouldn’t I adore sharing them? You can even request your own free samples by filling out this survey!

So, a good chunk of my time is spent sitting on my couch or working in my office to prep sample packets to go out. Honestly, it’s so fulfilling! I get to be surrounded by products that smell amazing while I’m (usually) listening to music or a podcast. Sure, it’s “work” but I personally love it!

#2) Recognize My Magnolia Posh Babe Teammates!

img_7668The ladies on my team work HARD. They are constantly inspiring me and each other, pushing out samples, making sales, and striving to learn better ways to pamper their own customers. They deserve some recognition! I like to send out monthly postcards (like the ones on the left) awarding them for these achievements. In addition to these post cards, I also like to add a little competitive spirit to our team page most months. As a competitive person by nature, I love a good challenge. We keep it interesting as I push them to grow their businesses more and more each month. Sometimes it’s a Starbucks or Wal*Mart gift card, sometimes it’s a personal development book! I love gifting, and I hope they love being a “Magnolia Posh Babe”.

#3) Try out, show off, and photograph the products!

Um hello! This is like the best part of the job. Who doesn’t love pampering themselves as they’re trying out new products for work? While I’m working on my Posh tasks, I often apply a face mask or body mud. Then, I can knock out two birds with one stone: get a photograph for my business page, blog, or Instagram AND I detox my skin!

I know what you’re thinking–you’re not a photographer. You don’t have a camera. Guess what? Neither do I. I use my iPhone to do anything I need to for my business!

#4) Place orders and deliver products!

Since I do most of my business online, a lot of my customers use my Perfectly Posh website to place orders on their own. However, I also offer lots of other ways to order! Local customers can join in on my bulk order to save shipping, many customers take advantage of my Posh of the Month Pampering Box (this month’s is Let’s Get Cozy and can be claimed here), and other times, I just have giveaways to mail!

#5) Welcome Magnolia Posh Babes and offer Team Training/Support

One of my favorite parts about being a Perfectly Posh consultant (and team leader) is being able to offer support to the ladies on my team.a9e5cc5a-2855-48d2-b178-56a9b319c47b As a consultant, we have access to unlimited FREE training from our awesome Home Office to help us rock out our businesses and be as successful as possible! On our Magnolia Posh team page, I go live (the pictures on the right are snapped from one of my recent videos) and chat/answer questions/check in on my teammates. My personal goal is to help everyone who decides to take the same leap into business that I did become successful! I want these ladies to love working their business, see rewards from it, and truly know they are making an impact in other women’s lives! When you join as a consultant with me, you receive a gift pack to get you started + me as your personal mentor!

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Are you ready to take that leap? Our Starter Kit comes with everything you need to get your business up and running for just $99. Y’all, it’s actually a $250 value! **Special Deal Alert: If you’re reading this before October 7th, 2018, you can snag your kit on sale for just $84!!! Let me welcome you into our team!

Ready to join now?! Grab your Starter Kit here!

Have questions? Please feel free to reach out to me on any social media platform or shoot me an email at magnolia posh@gmail.com! I would love to talk with you.

6 Tips for Healthier Skin

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Looking to rejuvenate and pamper your skin to get your healthiest face/body yet? Keep reading to learn my top 6 tips for healthier skin!

 

 

 

6 Tips for Healthier Skin

  • Learn Your Skin
    • Learning about your skin type is extremely important to reaching your ultimate skin health. Is your skin oily or dry? Or maybe neither? Do you struggle with breakouts certain times of the month? Maybe you notice breakouts or redness specifically by seasons or as you’re getting older. Being able to recognize your skin type and what issues you personally struggle with is a huge help when choosing a skincare routine that is right for you!
  • Don’t Touch Your Face
    • Are you guilty of this? I know I can be! So many times throughout the day, I have begun to notice my hands on my face (usually just resting there for a little while). This is something I am trying to stop. Do you have great tips for this? I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know!
  • Drink More Water
    • I know you’ve heard this one over and over again, but it’s true! How do you ensure you’re drinking enough water on a daily basis? My “pro tip”: Find a super cute water bottle (a large one) and refill it several times throughout the day. I set reminders on my Fitbit to help me remember to keep drinking as I work!
    • Don’t know how much water you should drink daily? Check out this article by the Mayo clinic for a researched recommendation!
  • Wash Your Face Daily
    • Let’s be honest…before I found my Perfectly Posh skincare products, I was terrible about this! Sometimes, still, I crash into bed absolutely exhausted. On nights like this, I personally use my Bare It All Micellar Tonic and a cotton ball to remove make-up, cleanse, and moisturize in one swipe. I mean, hey, if you don’t have time for a full out skincare ritual, you gotta take what you can get!
    • My personal morning skincare routine currently consists of three steps. I also use this routine at night when I can! If you’re looking to swap up your pampering routine, let me know. I’d love create a specific routine for you (just shoot me an email in the “Say Hello” section of this blog)!
      • Step 1: Wash my face with BFF Face Wash (it’s gently exfoliating, so I don’t use a separate exfoliating product on a daily basis). The grapefruit and peppermint is super refreshing for a morning pick-me-up!
      • Step 2: Tone my skin with Set The Tone. I struggle with redness and unbalanced skin, which the willow bark and citrus extracts help with. I also love the orange and bergamot essential oil scent!
      • Step 3: Moisturize with Moisturize 911, my favorite-ever moisturizer! If you need to try a new moisturizer, let me hook you up with a free sample of this one (just fill out the survey here and shoot me a quick message/email to specify that you want that exact sample). Y’all, it’s amazing and by far my top recommendation!
  • Eat Healthy Foods
    • This is another tip that is probably super obvious…but if not, I’m just throwing it out there! When I eat healthier, I feel so much better and my skin glows so much more.
  • Rest
    • Getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night really does improve your skin!

 

Do you have other skincare tips? I’d love to learn more about your personal routine! Leave a comment or shoot me a message, so I can feature and share your tips in the future.

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An Interest in Gardening: Beginning Documentation

A little background…

One of the things I miss most about being in the classroom setting (particularly a Reggio-inspired setting) is the documentation. If you’ve never heard of Reggio Emilia inspired schools, the pedagogy, or even much related to early childhood education, your idea of documentation may be entirely different than my meaning. When first learning about “documentation” in the classroom, I thought of it as a way to track and record the children’s progress and assess what they were learning. And, while documentation does do that, the form of documentation I’ll be referring to in this blog (and any to follow) is so much more.

“Documentation is not pretty pictures of engaged children. Rather, it captures the thinking process: What motivated the children to begin, continue, change direction? What were the breakthroughs, the pivotal remarks or actions? How did they solve the problem? The goal is to enable whoever reads a panel to understand what the child attempted and how they went about it, to see stimulus, process, and outcome.” -A. Lewin-Benham

In a Reggio classroom, you’ll see the space displaying various forms of beautiful documentation that reflects the children’s thought processes and learning. This is typically displayed at the child’s level, so he/she can revisit and reflect on the work whenever desired. (If you want to check out three of my favorite classroom blogs to follow and see it for yourself, check them out here, here, or here!)

While I do plan on displaying some forms of documentation in Hassell’s room, I plan on doing most of my documenting here, with all of you. Another aspect of being in the classroom I miss is the reflection and sharing of ideas between educators. This is where I’m hoping you will come in! Please flood the comments here with all your ideas, thoughts, and questions. I love challenging my current way of thinking or diving into more research to seek out certain answers. Which brings us to…

An Interest In Gardening: My First Day of Documentation

If you know us by now, you most likely already know that Hassell loves to be outside. It is truly his happy place. He is calmer, more inquisitive, and just overall a more relaxed child when he is spending time outdoors.

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After almost a year of noticing the same thing, you’d think I would be used to it by now. However, each time we go outside, I am always blown away again at the difference a change of his environment makes. When researching a little for this new start of documentation, I found this quote (with my photo on the right), and it just speaks volumes to me. I could write on and on about the value of nature play in early childhood, but that is a whole other post (or five) waiting to happen.

Daniel and I both agree that we want to spend the majority of the spring/summer outdoors with Hassell. Unplugged, following both his interests and ours. Last summer, we had our first family garden. I was actually very pregnant as we were planting, then wore Hassell in a wrap or a ring sling to help harvest it as a new mama. Sure, we made a lot of beginner mistakes, but for a first year garden, it turned out pretty great. We had fun, spent a ton of time outdoors, and had a almost never-ending supply of zucchini, okra, and watermelons. This year, we have been excited to start our garden again, agreeing that Hassell would love the time outside as we worked.

Honest moment: the above statement was exactly how I pictured it in my head many times… until earlier tonight. Daniel and I working with each other in the garden; Hassell sitting/crawling/eventually toddling in his own space beside the garden plot. 

Do you see what’s wrong with that picture? 

I often feel like I have two mindsets: my mama mindset and my early childhood educator mindset.

As a mama, I was thinking of the ways to be productive while also keeping my child happy. Daniel and I would plant, care for, and harvest our garden. Hassell would spend a lot of free exploration time outside and happy (aka out of the way and occupied…just being honest here, friends).

As an early childhood teacher reflecting back, I am horrified at myself for thinking like this. Why would Hassell not automatically be included in the growing and nurturing of our garden? Here’s a list of some research-based benefits a garden can provide for a child (even as young toddlers/infants):

  • provides a sense of purpose and responsibility
  • promotes communication skills
  • fosters mindfulness
  • creates meaningful family connections
  • promotes gross motor skills
  • strengthens immunity and overall health
  • helps children stay calm and focused
  • develops basic math concepts
  • encourages the tasting of new foods
  • engages the senses
  • enhances fine motor development
  • opens doors to scientific thought
  • teaches responsibility and respect for the environment
  • encourages patiences and planning

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Here’s an approximate timeline of exactly what happened for us tonight…

–>Get home, decide to go visit the garden and begin tilling up the soil.

–>Attempt to place Hassell on the grass beside the garden, so I can help Daniel. He cries and reaches for me.

–>Walk over to inspect the soil, carrying Hassell on my hip.

–>Hassell begins to squirm and show signs of boredom.

–>I sit Hassell down in the middle of the garden, watch to make sure he is safe and  doesn’t begin to fuss, and then move over to help Daniel.

–>Hassell happily inspects the rocks, grass, and dirt around him…until he notices Daniel and I doing something else.

–>Hassell begins to again let me know he is unhappy and reaches toward us.

–>I get frustrated, go and attempt to play with him for a few minutes, until I give up and pick him up again.

–>As I’m carrying Hassell, about to go inside, I notice some strawberry plants have survived from the previous year. img_1857

–>Daniel and I become excited and begin to show the plants/small berries to Hassell.

–>We decide to transplant the strawberries into our garden. I sit Hassell beside Daniel, so I can get the water we need.

–>Hassell watches intently as Daniel digs the plants up by the roots to transplant them.

–>I notice that Hassell is 100x happier and excited, now that we are involving him in the process. I decide to sit him right in between us as we move the small plants to their new location and water them.

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–>I narrate what we are doing as we replant the berries, use our hands to move the dirt, and then water each plant.

–>Hassell mimics our motions, squealing in delight as we move from plant to plant, swishing his hands in the water and dirt…just as we are. f0bd1890-0b9e-47fb-910b-a34f2a6cf678

Y’all, he was so engaged and delighted! His whole demeanor changed, as did ours. He loved being part of the process and was thrilled to join in our excitement. I watched as his little eyes literally danced with happiness and interest. As a mama and a teacher, it was exactly what I wanted to observe. But let’s take a moment to focus on the reasons I originally didn’t incorporate him into our gardening. Let’s also address questions I have gotten or heard many mamas ask (this may or may not be similar to questions you are thinking of)…

  • What about all that dirt? He’ll be filthy!
  • What if he pulls out the wrong plant?
  • There are so many rocks and small pieces out here! That’s not safe for babies.
  • We’re trying to go quickly. A young child will just slow the process down.
  • What if he wants to taste the soil? Babies put everything in their mouths!

You see where I’m going with this? There are so many reasons we are constantly told NOT to do something that would be an incredible experience for our child. Yes, as you can tell, he was covered in dirt.

bc2fc5fb59f3b44310d4d0607df8fbc6What enriching sensory play for him! Yes, I had to watch carefully as I worked to make sure he didn’t swallow a rock or small stick. Yes, we worked a tad bit slower. But, y’all, I’m challenging myself to look past those reasons this summer. I’ll be documenting our garden experience, good and bad, to keep you updated!

In the mean time, I want to encourage you to work outside with your little one(s) this season! I’d love for you to share any favorite experiences below or tell me your favorite gardening tip. Are you intrigued by this blog? Are you encouraged to go outside with your little this summer? Tell me your thoughts!

With Love,

Maggie Ricketts

Resources:

Fernando, N. (2016, March 16). Gardening with Kids: How It Affects Your Child’s Brain, Body and Soul. Retrieved May 1, 2018, from http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2016/03/gardening-kids-affects-childs-brain-body-soul/
Lopa, J. (2015, May 04). Jessica Lopa. Retrieved May 1, 2018, from http://mommyuniversitynj.com/2015/05/04/10-benefits-of-gardening-with-kids/
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