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Welcome to the Gong Show

I was aimlessly scrolling Instagram stories the other night and came across the most perfectly executed story highlight of an influencer’s Sunday moment with scripture. There was spiritual music softly playing in the background, strategically highlighted sections of a Bible and a grammatically perfect  “random thought” that really struck her that morning. The story was flawless. She softly whispered to her listeners that she was randomly inspired to pause her reading and share it. LIAR. Random my tush. If that’s the kind of perfectly thought-out, plastic, well-constructed person you want to follow, you probably want to stop reading this mess right now. It’s not what you will find here. 

Quick introduction, my name is Lauren. Hi. Welcome to my blog. I’ve learned in my 35 years on this planet, that there comes a point in time that you embrace the dumpster fire moments as much as the Kodak ones and to be totally honest, I seem to find myself in more of those (let’s call them “df” or gong show moments) than perfect ones. That’s the “gong show” portion of the blog title by the way. Ya’ll know what gong show means? Go ahead and look it up. My husband is Canadian and it’s a term he introduced me to years ago. I sort of love it. 

I will say that I love scripture lady’s effort and I’m here to cheer on all women (and men), but I can’t relate to that. Not on any level. It’s too perfect. The word perfect gives me indigestion. So does the word balance. I feel both those words, while initially harmless, have evolved in society. I think they are each a big fat lie we are supposed to buy into and chase after with every last ounce of breath we have until we die—having never attained either. Side note, I don’t have it all figured out and I’m not on a soapbox here—I continue to struggle with this daily. It’s especially hard in a world of above scripture lady, who makes it look so dang easy and (stomach cramp) perfect. 

Harmony is my jam. Harmony is something I can get after. Harmony is arranging the aspects of our lives to make our one big story. The big picture. I like harmony because it’s not perfectly equal—some days one aspect is running better than others. Some days we excel as a parent and epically fail at our jobs. One day dinner is home-cooked and Better Homes worthy and the next thing you know you forgot a kid had swim practice and she’s out the door without trying your Pinterest dinner you nailed. But it’s ok, because it’s the big picture that matters. The big puzzle of our lives and you know what? You need every single piece to finish that puzzle. Whether it’s a beautiful corner piece or one of the funky middle pieces or that piece the dog gnawed on when he was a puppy. We need them all. You will find me writing about those pieces often in this blog and my attempts to find that harmony and embrace it amongst the chaos (gong show) of my life.  

You will also find daily adventures, thoughts, recommendations and more as a woman who is raising three daughters and leading/running an international business. I’m also an oilfield wife of ten years who solo parents for weeks at a time while my hubby is working in a different state(s). I’m a lover of a lot of things, so you will find a hodgepodge of entries. Anyone with me on this—I was never THE BEST at anything, but I’m pretty decent at a lot of things. Same goes for my lifestyle hobbies. I’m pretty decent at fashion, cooking, fitness, crafting, home decor, all that jazz. Not the best. I belly laugh at the thought of making that claim. But I can stand proud behind decent. 

So, if you are interested in some decent thoughts and recommendations on everyday lifestyle and how I work daily to find that harmony between running a biz and raising my babes, then you’ve come to the right place. Might I also add that here you will not find perfection. You won’t find perfectly snapped photos with perfect lighting. I’m sure I will screw up some punctuation. Make a few typos. Take a picture with something in my teeth. Throw a tantrum. Place a pillow in the wrong spot. Pair a wine incorrectly. Make a joke that falls flat—I’m wildly sarcastic so brace yourselves for that. Maybe I’ll even struggle with some things that will make you think…yep, Lauren’s having a “df” gong show day. But that’s ok and that’s why I feel it’s important for me to write this. Even if one single person can relate. If it’s a much needed breath of fresh air for at least one of you—that makes it worth it to me because I know how much I crave connections like that. I promise you honesty, transparency and authenticity. After all these years, I’ve embraced the good, the bad and the ugly of who I am and I’m getting to be pretty ok with that. I think the sooner we all get really ok with ourselves, the better. Welcome to the gong show. I hope you stick around for awhile. 

Locusts Out of the Smoke

I’m really disappointed in my gender. Overnight, like a plague of locusts, the new wave of judging, comparing, and soapbox lecturing has spread across America like the Coronavirus. It’s infecting thousands and the damage it’s causing is truly terrifying. This time, instead of the subject of breastfeeding, natural birth or disciplining, it’s over something I don’t think any of us saw coming—homeschooling. 

It happened overnight. Suddenly, mothers all over the country were thrown into the world of homeschooling. I don’t know about you, but this is something I never ever wanted to take on. Unfortunately, I no longer had a choice. It was as simple as an email on a Sunday evening. Dear parent, it’s over until the 13th and chances are, they won’t be coming back even then. There’s a bundle of supplies and tools we’ve put together for you that you can pick up (use gloves) at school. Good luck and God’s speed. 

I didn’t ask to be thrown into this. None of us did. But we had no choice so, most of us leaned in—pivoted and made a plan. It would’ve been great if it ended there. All of us mamas just swam in our own lanes. That we shared value and ideas openly and with love to anyone out there who might want to adopt some of the things working for us. No strings. No judgement. True community mama tribe mentality that we’ve got each others backs. 

But, as usual, it didn’t go that way. Suddenly, current homeschooling parents who were gracious enough to pass along sample schedules to us novices were being attacked for their methods. I mean, some of these women may have spent hours on Pinterest and in their excitement of potentially offering value to someone, passed it along to anyone maybe looking for an outline. Random moms were critiquing them for trying to be teachers—telling them that they read articles saying kids don’t need their mom as a teacher. That school setups in the house would ruin the kids. That kids just need to be outside playing. 

It gets better.

In retaliation, the more laid back moms, who were enjoying making homemade cookies, coloring contests and letting the kids sleep in, were getting told that it was actually them ruining their kids because children need routine and a schedule. That now more than ever they needed that feeling of normal that a school routine gives them. That if their children weren’t given educational information they would lose what they had learned and be behind when they finally got back to school. That their lack of scheduling was laziness. 

Moms somewhere in between felt like the rope being used in tug-of-war—pulled this way and then that—then this way and than that on what was “right” for them to do. Moms who upped their wine intake were told they were alcoholics. Moms who didn’t drink were prudes. Moms who didn’t change out of their pajamas were ugly. Moms who dressed up for the day were vain. Moms who taught were in the wrong. Moms who didn’t teach were in the wrong. Every. Single. Thing. WRONG…and not just wrong, so wrong that it was causing permanent damage to their child (or so we are being told).

Stop for a moment. Feel the weight of that statement. You’re stressed out over what’s going on right now. Maybe you aren’t working or maybe you’re working from home. Maybe your spouse lost a job. Maybe he’s home and in your way. There is a virus running rampant that could potentially kill people you love—kill you. You have your kids home and they don’t have school. They have no clue what just happened. Remember that plate I’ve talked about in past blogs—it just fell onto the floor and shattered by the weight on what’s been put on it. You try to do what’s best and you are being told daily by social media, articles, media, “experts,” that what you’ve chosen is wrong and that in your incorrect choice you’ve failed as a mother. Just the lovely little cherry on top of our sundae isn’t it? 

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen or experienced this. We always thought that mean girls were brutal but those mean girls have nothing on mean women. And what hurts the most—what legitimately rips apart at my heart most is that it comes from the hands of other mothers. When we will we ever learn? You could no more parent my kids than I could parent yours. The only thing that we need to focus on in this moment is doing the best we can with our own children. We need to swim in our own lanes. Our family needs us in our own lanes now more than ever giving it our all. 

I will also say this, our insecurities and judgments are all just mirrors of our own fears of inadequacy. Those moms slamming structured moms feel like they are failing because they aren’t structured. It feels good to read an article from Dr. Fran, telling us they’re the ones in the wrong. Those structured moms slamming go with the flow moms are insecure that they can’t be more laid back. Hearing Debbie in Denver say so makes us feel better.  It’s all a big coverup for insecurity. Can we all just agree that we are freaking insecure about this whole motherhood thing? None of us has it figured out. None of us is perfect. But I truly believe that in our hearts we all just want to do and be our best for our children. Can’t we all just bond over that fact instead of slashing at each other until our spirits are broken? 

So you do you. I’d like to invite you to a safe space with me. I can’t protect you from everyone, but I promise you that in this incredibly uncertain time, you can be certain that I have nothing to say about whatever decision you’ve made for your family—because it’s your family not mine. If you want to go roll in the mud all day—go for it. If you want the most beautiful color-coordinated schedule—go for it. If you want to drink a bottle of wine—invite me (virtually). I hope you keep sharing anything of value (not judgement) that you come across. I love seeing schedules or recommended books and activities. I love new ideas for games and scavenger hunts. I love pictures of you hiking outside or inside making slime. I get a chuckle out of you in your jammies all day or in bed until ten. I relate to all of it. Quite frankly, I just love connecting with moms. I love how different and unique we all are and I find joy in watching you in your element as a parent. Don’t fall in with the vultures—they can drag us down so easily. God gave us mamas a unique light to shine upon all the people we come in contact with—please be a mama of light for us all in such a dark time. We need you. 

Four Sprays to Protect Yourself & Home From Coronavirus

I promise I’m as sick of hearing about it as you are—the Coronavirus. While there are lots of jokes and memes out there about it, we do need to take a few extra precautions these days with this virus spreading. The World Health Organization officially declared it a pandemic–which is a big deal for them. 

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to take precautions against it—no, don’t go buy a bunch of toilet paper. How did that even HAPPEN!? As you probably know, washing your hands is the number one recommended way to protect yourself. I’m not sure why this is suddenly such a new concept for some. I find that terrifying actually. But maybe washing them even more? I can understand that. Sometimes we might be lax after sneezing or a cough or after giving your family pet a hug. Now is the time to tighten that up and scald those grimy hands with some water, soap and sing yourself a fun little song while you wash–I like “Oops!… I did it Again.” Doing a little extra cleaning and disinfecting should also be on top of your list. One big problem we are facing, is that a lot of places sold out of the sprays or wipes we usually grab. Luckily, I have a few homemade options for you that work like a charm. 

There are lots of different cleaning types out there. Some of you won’t touch bleach because of the chemicals. Others of you swim in it because, you know, diaper blowouts and vomit. Some of you love your oils. Some of you love 99% alcohol. Some of you like all natural and some of you don’t care about chemicals as long as it’s clean. You do you. No soapboxes here. There’s no award or absolute in this, which is why this post is so fun. I got you all covered.

Quite frankly, I dabble in them all (but I’m also the mom sending her kids to school with organic applesauce and Doritos). Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite disinfecting sprays that I’ve personally been using and that have been around and highly recommended for years. Regardless of your “type,” you should find one in here that matches your vibe. Hey, maybe you are a little of each type—then you can have fun playing around with them all. Each is fairly affordable and simple. Each has backing that they work (some more than others). Each are options for you during this ridiculously crazy—and let’s be honest—slightly scary time. But don’t save them just for Corona. They can be used year round.

For the Oily Type Disinfecting Room Spray

  • 16 oz GLASS Bottle With Spray Nozzle 
  • Purified Water
  • Witch Hazel
  • Lemon Essential Oil*
  • Thieves Essential Oil* 
  • Purification Essential Oil* 

Clean glass water bottle and nozzle. Fill bottle halfway with purified water. Fill the remaining with witch hazel. Add 25-30 drops of oils. I like to do equal parts on this one—10 drops lemon, 10 drops Purification and 10 drops Thieves. Gently shake to combine.

Witch hazel is used to help the oils combine and leave the oil scents in the room lingering longer after sprayed. This is a lovely mist to disinfect and purify your rooms.

*These are Young Living options because those are what I’m familiar with. I do know there are plenty of alternatives out there— Onguard, Immune Strength and Germ Fighter are a few alternatives to Thieves for example. Use the brand you love. If you are looking for a YL rep I know some pretty awesome ladies that will help you. Just let me know. 

For the Natural Type Disinfecting Surface Spray

Pour ingredients into bottle. Gently shake to mix. Spray any surface and let sit for a few minutes for products to truly kick in. Wipe with cloth. Do not use on marble or granite.

For the Hardcore Type Disinfecting Surface/Hand Spray

Mix two parts alcohol to one part water. Roughly 10-11 oz alcohol to 5-6 oz purified water. Shake. 

You don’t want to over-dilute the alcohol or its benefits are significantly reduced. 60% alcohol is arguably the magic number to effectively kill germs. 

Spray down any surface in question (restaraunt table for example). Wipe. Also can spray hands and wipe together. 

For the “I Want It DEAD” Type:

Purchase Lysol Disinfectant Spray (19oz bottle). These are still pretty widely available but I wouldn’t delay. Gently shake.

Spray everyone and everything.

Like I said, all of these are cost-effective, easy and efficient. I even like to make them with my girls–especially the disinfecting room spray. Now you can feel a little more on top of your game when combating not just the Coronavirus but also other germs lurking around your life as well.

Ready for Combat

If you’ve browsed fashion magazines, followed an influencer, or caught any fashion campaigns, you’d know by now that combat boots were one of the hottest fall/winter trends. They exploded onto the scene and you won’t see them disappearing anytime soon as we head into spring. They’re versatile enough that you can transition them from straight-legged jeans right over to your favorite t- cut-offs. 

The combat boots of our season come in many shapes and sizes. I’ve seen them with buckles, with bling, white ones, super chunky heeled ones and even some with a pointier toe. I debated most of the winter. I wanted a pair. I just wasn’t sure which pair I wanted. I have to be careful with combat boots–most people do actually. They can quickly go from trendy and tasteful to Herman Munster. I don’t need to rock the Herman Munster. I already have a size ten narrow foot that suddenly looks like a size thirteen in chunky heeled or overly pointy shoes. I needed something that wouldn’t make me look like I was dragging a medicine ball behind me.

I finally narrowed it down and just when I was about to pull the trigger on this pair by Sam Edelman.

I suddenly saw everyone and their third cousin in them. Now, this may not bother you. If it doesn’t, this is an awesome pair. But it bothers me and I wanted something a little more unique. I came across another pair on one of my favorite bloggers’ sites. They’re by Via Spiga and I immediately went to purchase them. I was ecstatic to see the normally $350 boots on sale for $137. You can shop them here. I loved this pair. They were the classic combat boot. Minimal and without an overly blocky heel. They fit a half size big so be sure to size down if you purchase them. They arrived and trust me, the pictures do not do them justice. They are spectacular, well made and very comfortable. 

Combat boots can be intimidating. How do you wear them? If you were like me, I grew up in the nineties where the best way to wear them was with ripped jeans and flannel. Now, you can definitely still do that—and play all the Nirvana you want—but I have a few other options for you that might be worth exploring with your new boots. Hey, maybe you still have those combat boots in the closet from the nineties —dig them out and give these looks a whirl. 

1.) Spring is in the Air.

This outfit is willing spring to arrive–and fashionably. Pair the combat boots with a basic t-shirt dress and throw on your favorite jacket for an easy spring transition. The dress is feminine but the boots give the look some edge. Old Navy has my favorite t-shirt dresses and they come in lots of different colors and are priced oh so right. 

2.) Camo + Combat

It doesn’t get much better than pairing your combat boots with camo. This is what they were meant to be paired with from the beginning. It’s what they were born from. The look is edgy and brings two ultra-hot trends together for one fantastic look. I paired them with jean shorts, a basic t-shirt and this light camo jacket. When tying your boots, don’t lace them up all the way. Tie your laces closer your ankle and you can even wrap the laces around the boot a few times for a fun, laid back look as I did pictured here.

3.) A Day Downtown

Who ever thought combat boots could be chic? They can! For this outfit I paired my favorite Spanx motto leggings with them. Add a leather jacket and big scarf for a classy twist. You’ll keep them guessing…she might go shopping at Tiffanys, or she might jump on her Harley. Or both! The look is fun and ultra-mod. I polled my pals over on my Instagram (@girlsgoalsandgongshows if you don’t follow) and this look came in second out of my five styled options. 

4.) Man, I Feel Like a Woman

Add a touch of masculinity and major high-fashion vibes with this look. I simply paired the boots with my favorite charcoal colored skinny jeans, a basic black turtle neck and then I borrowed one of Kurtis’s blazers. Oversized blazers are a huge trend. Mark this down. Huge. You’ll see them all over spring fashion campaigns. You don’t need to go buy one, just shop in your partner’s closet. If you have a day you want to feel powerful—this look will do it for you. Shoulder pads have a way of giving us courage.

5.) Simple Comfort

This is a look that any of you reading know you can rock. It’s probably why it was by far my most loved of the five when I polled my Instagram family. If you aren’t comfortable in combat boots, still hesitating, or this is your first go trying them out, I’d say start with this look. Simply grab your favorite comfort jeans and that oversized sweater you love. Throw on the boots and you can’t fail. This look is versatile for a casual date night, lunch with friends, errands and everything in-between. 

The possibilities are endless and I could keep going. You could do sexy netted tights with combat boots, skirts, an open button down with a fun graphic t-shirt underneath, ankle length coat over skinny jeans and a top, and so much more. So go for it. Have some fun. Go out on a limb and try something different by snagging a pair or dust off your old pair of Doc’s and start putting together some fun looks. Hey, I wasn’t kidding when I said plaid button down and ripped jeans.

Open Drawers

Let me paint a scenario…

You’re tired. Like, really tired. You have solo parented for the past two weeks while your husband is working in another state. Your mind is like a chest of drawers and every single drawer is open—did I pay the gas bill, sign homework folders, need to practice math flash cards, eye appointment for one child tomorrow, haven’t seen dentist in over six months and need to book all kids in to see one, laundry sitting in dryer needs to be folded, should really sort closets, door handle isn’t on yet call contractor, did I send money for the kids hot lunch, I want to workout Saturday but have no one to watch the kids, Volleyball practice this weekend do I have that covered, I have to do passport picture for the little one, I haven’t communicated with my team in awhile and my business is hurting because of it, I need to mail five packages of product, voicemail from aunt have to call her back, did we do thank you notes from Christmas, I’d like to try homemade dishwasher pods–and on and on and on.

With these thoughts rolling around your mind, you walk into your daughter’s bathroom and stop short. The spray that’s supposed to be for her hair was used on Barbie and now it’s mixed into some type of slop with that expensive lotion you gave her and it’s spilled all over the counter. Nail polish is out and dripped on the white cabinet. Last night’s wet towels are piled on the floor. The sink is caked with tooth paste. There are plastic horses all over the floor over by the shower and there are LOL doll pieces actually in the shower. There’s no toilet paper on the holder and there, in the middle of it all, your child. Oblivious. Even more oblivious to the fact you had told her to clean up her bathroom yesterday. She’s about to explain how this makes complete sense in her mind but you stop her. You yell. You yell and the entire time you’re yelling you can see her face crinkle up a bit as if bearing a blow and she crouches back a little scared but not really because you’ve never hit her, so it’s just the volume that’s a little shocking. Tears well in her eyes and you, exasperated, almost tear up yourself because you are so mad, annoyed, confused and frustrated. Now another two drawers open in your mind chest—first, that you have to figure out how to get that nail polish off of your newly renovated cabinets and second, you yelled. Again. That one goes into the mom fail drawer. 

I hope that some of you reading this—I mean even one of you reading this can relate. Can you? If not, I’m really sinking fast. Let’s keep the scene going…

Later that night you, crippled with guilt, cry into the phone while you tell your husband you’re a failure as a mom. You explain what happened and how you yelled, again, and how bad you now feel. You’re convinced you’re a terrible mom and that you are ruining your child. He is kind. He tells you that you aren’t and that you’re an amazing mother. You keep crying. You get off the phone still feeling rotten, wipe the snot running down your nose from your ugly crying and creep downstairs to her room. She’s asleep but you wake her up. She is over it, but you aren’t. You go into an explanation about why you yelled and that you’re sorry for yelling. That it doesn’t mean what she did isn’t wrong. That it doesn’t mean you aren’t mad. But that you shouldn’t have yelled so hard. She can’t see you’re still crying in the dark and she’s half asleep and tells you it’s ok (and she means it). You hug her and tell her you love her a million more times, tuck her in and go back upstairs to finish sobbing because that didn’t really help either. 

Anyone still with me?

Confession. I’m a yeller. I yell at my kids. I’d like to explain a few things—clarify if you will—before I continue on with this. I shouldn’t have to and I actually think the more we explain the more we give away our power but I have no power here. I never yell at my children in public. I don’t belittle them or call them names. I’ve never hit my child in any way. I don’t ignore my children. I affirm them daily—literally say affirmations with them every single day. I tell them I love them all the time. I hug them and kiss them and hold them frequently. I don’t make fun of them. But I do yell when I’m upset with them. 

Why? I wasn’t raised by yellers but I never did anything like above scenario either. Perhaps I yell because I can’t put myself in their shoes and that’s frustrating. I never would have done some of the things they do and so it’s really, really hard for me to comprehend why on earth they would do it. Maybe I yell because I don’t understand.

I yell because I’m lazy. It’s much easier to yell down the stairs at them to hustle up or stop banging the piano while Carolyn sleeps than it is to go down and talk. It’s a big house. Yelling is easier.

I yell because not only is my plate full but it’s overflowing with gravy from that extra helping of mashed potatoes I thought I needed. But whose isn’t these days? The cats’ litter box is full and they have no food or water and I’ve reminded them twenty times to stay up on this. Snap. The overfilled paper plate breaks. I yell.

I yell because I don’t know what else to do sometimes. There’s no takeaway from that—kindly chatting, warnings, threats, love even ignoring doesn’t work. I don’t even have my partner here half the time, so I yell. 

Are you sitting there judging me while you read this? I’ll let you know that you can. Judge away. No amount of your comments or judgements will come even close to how much I judge myself or how much I beat myself up and belittle myself over my yelling. This is why I hate (yea, hate) “educate yourself” posts that moms like to share. You know the ones? I usually see them pop up on my feed the same day I’ve yelled—“yelling will ruin your child’s spirit,” or “do you know what you’re doing to your child when you yell?” and “You might as well beat your child with a two by four because that’s how yelling affects your child.” They usually have awesome images too that really make you feel good. Educate yourself they say. I’ll say this. The term “educate yourself” is the most uneducated thing you can say to someone. Someone make me that shirt please…or a wine glass.

Do you really think for one second I’m not aware of the consequences of yelling? That I’m not aware of the studies or theories or alternatives to yelling? It’s like Jolene from Georgia doesn’t actually care, she just posts that to reaffirm she’s got things all figured out and doing it better than us scum that yell. Educate yourself Jolene. Do you think people who are overweight don’t understand the risks of being overweight? That they don’t know? Do you think smokers aren’t aware of the negative effects of cigarettes? Of course they know. No amount of you educating or hanging it over their head from your soapbox is going to change that. The only thing it does is encourage me to beat myself up a little more. Thanks, Jolene. I will tell you that the mental narrative I have with myself over this is something that no person should ever hear spoken out loud. We do this to ourselves don’t we mamas (and dads)? I don’t need the posts. I don’t need your judgement. I don’t need your advice. I already have a whole drawer open in my mind—remember that mom fail drawer I mentioned? That’s the one. It’s filled with replayed scenes and fails and negative thoughts about what a rotten, fail of a mother I am. I loathe this drawer and try to keep it closed as much as possible.

Are you waiting for me to go into a Rachel Hollis moment? Here’s my flaw but here’s how I came out of it, beat it, got it all figured out, coached you on it and now have a book and tour and millions to show for it? Unfortunately, not this mama. I’m willing to be raw and vulnerable with you though, which is hard enough. I admit my flaw, am aware of it and I am willing to work on it. That’s it. That’s all I got.

Here’s what I did come up with. Upon some recent prayer and reflection, I decided for Lent this year I’m giving up yelling. I have a rubber band that I’m wearing on my wrist all of Lent to try and condition myself like Pavlov’s dog. Each time I yell or go to yell, SNAP. It may not solve everything. It may solve nothing. I may still yell but I hope to be much more aware of the yelling and hopefully it curbs it or stops it before it happens.

So this lent while others are giving up things or doing new things for their forty days, you’ll find me with a rubber band on my wrist working at fixing a flaw that I’d very much like to go away. I will say this—I still think children need discipline. When they misbehave, I’m not a big fan of sitting down as two adults and talking it out (I’m the adult last time I checked). I’m going to try to replace the yell with quieter stern moments but you bet your bottom dollar there will be quiet stern moments and consequences for misbehavior. I have no desire to let them see me as an equal or to have my sole purpose be their best friend. I’m their parent and hope there’s a little bit of fear, a lot of respect and even more love. God gave these three to me and no one else for a reason—no one else on the planet is better equipped to raise them than I am (and Kurtis). No one. Even with the yelling. But I know God is tugging at my heart as well. Tugging at me to listen to him and to work on this at the very minimum during this Lenten season. Maybe you’re feeling called to do the same. Maybe it’s something different that you struggle with or want to do better or even something you want to start doing. Regardless, let this post be a reminder that none of us are perfect. We all likely have parenting flaws we would love to magically disappear. You have a mom fail drawer too, don’t you? I bet you do. We all unwillingly play the comparison game (even Jolene from Georgia with her stinking posts). We all struggle with feeling like we fail our children (on occasion or daily). All of it. However, let this honest confession from a flawed mama also be a reminder that you aren’t alone. That we really are in this together. The next time you go to compare yourself to someone else, maybe snap a rubber band on your wrist as a reminder that she’s likely struggling too. Maybe she’s even a yeller like me.  

Cracked by The Nutcracker

“One must never be late to the theatre.” I said as we were leaving the house.

Let me back up just a bit. My in-laws were making a trip to come visit us. It’s a big deal when they visit, as we don’t get to see them all that often and my daughters are incredibly close to them. Each year, they are kind enough to come visit around Christmas, so we can do a little Christmas celebration and also a pre-birthday party for Hadley. They live in Canada, so you can understand how special it is for all of us—especially the girls—when they get to see them.

They had planned to do the fifteen hour drive down to us. They would stay for a few days and then leave on a Sunday, as my mother-in-law (Shirley) had an event she needed to attend the following Tuesday. That was a pretty short turnaround to begin with—two days on the road and then a business event an hour and a half away the day after she returned home. 

About a week before they arrived, I heard on the radio (yes, I still listen to the radio) that The Nutcracker ballet was being preformed in town. The Nutcracker. It’s a tradition in my life since as long as I can remember. I would dress up and attend with either my parents or my aunties. I loved going and I affiliate it with Christmas and happy memories. Once I had my girls, I vowed when they were old enough I would carry that tradition on with them. We started it in Texas. It was the first year Tia and Hadley were really old enough to attend and I can’t tell you how much joy it brought me to take them. This was our first season with it back in Iowa and I knew I wanted to take the girls—Carolyn was still too little. I actually thought about taking her for a second before my mom reality check mechanism quickly kicked in. Check yourself before you wreck yourself Lauren. I looked at the dates and realized we had missed the first weekend and the only weekend left was when Shirley was in town. This was perfect. She loved theatre and arts and traditions like these and I quickly called her to see if she wanted to attend. It took a little pleading on my end and it certainly wasn’t the perfect option because that meant they had to stay an extra day. It also meant that they had to do the 1,000 mile road trip back to Canada in one day. Yes, in one day. Then she would have to turn around and drive an hour and a half the next day for her event. I told her I understood if they couldn’t—and trust me, I did understand. But she said they would talk it over. She called back the next day and said it was a lovely idea and to snag the tickets. 

So there we were the day of the ballet, ready for the Sunday matinee. I couldn’t wait to take everyone. My tickets were purchased (we were a little late to the game but I still had grabbed great seats). We were all dressed in our Sunday best and ready to go. I was a little anxious because getting my girls ready and out the door to attend an event on time takes some effort. I double checked the time and date about a million times to make sure I had it right. I was so happy. These were the types of moments I lived for—taking my girls to experience a time-honored classic while also hosting my mother-in-law. I was feeling quite grown up. 

As a child, my theatre major mother and my theatre loving aunties had always, always instilled in me that one must NEVER be late to the theatre—ballet, opera, orchestra, you name it. They emphasized it was rude, tacky and totally unacceptable. I’m telling you, they might as well have beaten it into me (they didn’t, but still). So as we were loading up into the Yukon, I said the same thing to Tia and Hadley, so that they understood why I was acting slightly psychotic about getting to the show in a timely manner and not dilly-dallying. “One must never be late to the theatre!” I said as we loaded into the vehicle.

We pulled up to the downtown theatre– the old Orpheum in Dubuque now better known as the Five Flags. Memories of attending the ballet as a child came flooding back. We arrived about a half hour early—but doors were to open promptly fifteen minutes before the show. It also clearly stated in an email I received that if you were late, you were locked out until intermission. I couldn’t believe our luck as we parked nearly right at the front of the theatre. Usually it was crowded and hard to find spots on the one-way streets downtown. We walked in and I was shocked to see only a handful of people there. We checked our coats and I asked a lady at the ticket booth, “This is where the show’s at correct?” She smiled and said, “It sure is.” I showed her my tickets and she told me to hang on to them for now and show them to the usher when the doors opened. The girls picked out a few snacks from the concession and we got in line by the doors. Shirley and I were catching up on things and chatting while people began filing in. When you’re a writer, you learn to observe things—all things. As people were walking in, I couldn’t help but notice that most of them were over the age of sixty. My heart sank. This is what was happening to our youth I thought to myself. Gone are the days of taking your children to the ballet on a Sunday. They’ve instead been replaced with sitting at home on video games with a complete disregard or care for the arts. I mentioned this to Shirley. She too, said she was surprised there weren’t more children. 

In front of us, a mom (let’s call her Kelly) with her friend had about five kids and they were as dressed up and ready for the ballet as we were. We chatted a bit and talked about how excited we were to be sharing this experience with our kids and how much we loved The Nutcracker and how important it was for them to know about theatre and composers and operas and all the things. As we were chatting, I kept glancing back at the people as they arrived and now, aside from the fact there were no children, I was surprised at the number of work jeans, fleeces, John Deer hats and tennis shoes. Back up on my soapbox I went —well not only were gone the days people took their kids to theatre, but apparently gone were the days where you dressed up for the theatre as well. These people looked like they were ready to attend a ball game. They were casual as all get out. Again, I mentioned this to Shirley who also was a little shocked by the ball caps. 

It felt like we had been waiting quite a while and when I checked my phone I saw it was ten minutes to two. Two o’clock was showtime and they were supposed to have opened the doors five minutes ago. Now I was really getting antsy. We needed to get seated and settled. Kelly in front of us with her children and friend was getting a bit nervous as well. She kept looking at her ticket and checking her watch. The kids had even started trying to peek in to see if anyone was there by the door. Ten to two turned into two o’clock, which turned into ten after two. Now I was getting cranky. If you haven’t realized it yet in my posts or by following me on any of my social media, I’m a bit (ha, that’s an understatement) of a Type A personality. I am slightly rigid and a stickler for following rules and being on time. Tardiness is one of my pet peeves. The ballet was supposed to start at two o’clock and it was now ten after. The crowd in the building was getting congested and I was over-peopled. I have a small personal bubble and Rhonda behind me kept bumping into my back and bumping into my back and bumping into my back. The girls were bored and I was losing them before we were even seated. “What is going on?” I kept asking to no one in particular. “This is ridiculous. Did something happen to a dancer?” Exasperation.

Just when I was about to blow, the door opened. A woman in uniform appeared with her scanner and Kelly in front of me handed over her tickets. The usher scanned the ticket. “This isn’t the show.” She said. Oh man did I feel for Kelly. Could you imagine waiting all that time with your kiddos in tow and accidentally showing up to the wrong showing. I felt for her. I was embarrassed for her—you could tell she was near tears. She literally almost fell into her ticket trying to read it as if to will the numbers to correct themselves. “The ballet is at the Grand.” My head jerked and the pity party for Mama Kelly in front of me came to an abrupt halt. “I’m sorry, what?” Chirped the soapbox woman from behind (that’s me). “This showing is Jim McDonough’s Holiday Grande.” Who in the actual F is Jim McDonough was on the tip of my tongue, but I was too choked up to even get it out. We were at the wrong place too. We were those people. I wondered if Rhonda behind me was having a pity party for me as I had been for Kelly in front of me. Shirley and I looked at each other in shock. I didn’t even know where the Grand was to be honest. I’d just moved back. I hadn’t lived permanently in Dubuque for over fifteen years. 

All we could do was leave. I started pushing my way through the shoulder to shoulder crowd like a salmon trying to swim upstream. Halfway to the door Shirley, who hadn’t followed me and was over by the coat rack yelled about our coats—which I one hundred percent would’ve left without. I was flustered and in shock. We got our coats and made it outside—I may have thrown an elbow or two but it was a desperate situation. We hit the street to biting cold air and I stood there, traumatized. Kelly was there too. It was one of those moments. I wonder if you’ve ever had them? You go through something—anticipate something—put the work in to go to something and be ready for it and be excited about it, stress over it and then it blows up in your face. In that moment, I wanted to calmly walk to my car, buckle up and drive across the Illinois bridge and just keep going. I quit. I was actually standing there in my head with these thoughts while people were talking (to me I think) when I caught Kelly’s friend saying the Grand was just up the street a block or so. “Let’s go”. I said. “We might make it if we run.” Shirley almost fell over—she had actually started heading toward the car thinking we would drive over. Not happening Shirls. We would be late for sure by the time we did that—I was already pretty sure it was over but we were going to try dammit. I might’ve failed but I’m not a quitter. I was in four-inch stiletto boots, she was in heeled boots and I had two little girls in dresses and inappropriate coats for the weather. “LET’S MOVE.” I said, and into a dead sprint I went with my family, surely concerned about my mental well being, trailing behind me. The other family followed suit for some reason (the blind leading the blind, clearly) and we all ran the four blocks up the street in heels, with kids, in ten degree weather, cheeks rosy, lungs bleeding and praying to baby Jesus that they were still doing announcements and we weren’t too late. As we neared, I saw a family trotting in and was immediately thankful we weren’t alone.

We arrived right before they closed the doors. Fifteen minutes late. “I’m so sorry” I wheezed. “You have no idea what we did” (hacking up a bloody lung as I started to explain). The usher looked at me with glassed, annoyed, judgmental eyes. “Of course.” She said and smiled a plastic, you were late, you have no class, you are tacky and your mom would be so disappointed in you kind of smile. Ok, I made that up but that’s sure as heck what I swore she was thinking. We went barreling onto the floor, found our seats— which were thankfully on the end of a row—sat down and literally had gotten our coats off just as the overture began. 

The show was fantastic and we didn’t miss any of it. I wasn’t present for a single moment of it though. Thoughts were going a mile a minute in my mind—I almost killed Shirley, they stayed late purposefully to see this ballet and we almost missed it, why didn’t the lady at the ticket booth tell me the tickets weren’t for this show, no wonder people were casually dressed and the crowd was older, I’m such a snob, I can’t believe we were late after I talked about not being late the entire week, what were the chances the people in front of us did the same thing, I need a drink, the girls think their mama is losing her mind, how did I run that far in heels? I mean on and on. Needless to say, when we made it back to our car—remember we had to walk back to it in even colder temps after the show—we both burst into hysterical laughter. How that happened I will never know. I am seriously thankful for laughter because it was either that or succumbing to a complete and total mental breakdown. The laughter continued well into the evening over wine.

In the end, we enjoyed the performance. The girls had fun. The tradition carried on and we were able to share it with Shirley. We also have a pretty decent memory out of it. The moral? Well, don’t be late to the theatre, yes. Also, when double-checking your ticket, best to also look at the location. 

The Accountability Struggle and a Few Ways to Beat It

Do you find yourself struggling with workout accountability? Do you cop out more times than you’d like to admit? Do you tend to start something and then fall off the wagon? I’m certainly not a fitness trainer or professional but if there’s one thing I am and always have been good at over the years, it’s not missing workouts. If I’m in—you can go all in on me showing up. Now, have I missed some? Of course—I’m by no means perfect. If I’m being totally transparent, I actually didn’t go to a workout today I had initially thought I’d attend. So what better person to give you advice than me, right? HA. I don’t usually go today and it wasn’t really planned and it was on a day I rarely workout (more on why this is a formula for failure later). Normally though, I’m there. 

I talk to quite a few people who’ve told me they really struggle with making the workouts, classes or fitness commitments. They feel guilty and get down on themselves and it’s a bummer headspace to be in–I get it. I recently sat down and tried to think of some of the reasons my track record might be good with sticking to my fitness goals. Is it an inherit personality thing? Is it from a lifetime in athletics? Is it because I so desperately look forward to time out of the house to myself? I realized a couple of things (some tiny and some a bit more thought provoking) and wanted to share. These may or may not work for you. Maybe one or two resonate. You may already be doing them. I’m not sure. Just in case you’ve found yourself struggling to get to the gym or your workout class or in keeping that promise to yourself, these may be worth giving a try.

1.) Lay out your clothes the night before. I know. It’s a little wonky and seems insignificant and like a tiny thing to do, but I think it’s big impact. Whether you are working out at the butt crack of dawn, in the afternoon, after work or later in the evening, lay out your workout gear. Whenever you workout and regardless of what it is you’re going to be doing, always get the gym bag packed the night before or lay out the outfit. I would go so far as to say to put the gym bag next to your door so you literally can’t miss it in the morning or throw it in the passenger seat of your car the night before. Here’s the funny thing with this one—the clothes, the bag–they turn into a form of your accountability partner. You wake up and see the clothes sitting there laid out and ready and you see the promise you had made to yourself just a few hours earlier that you were going for that walk. The gym bag by the door is the reminder of the commitment you made last night to hit the treadmill. Somehow, these non-human articles turn into powerful reminders that we made a commitment to ourselves—don’t let those leggings down! 

2.) Speaking of accountability partners—get one. This whole concept could be a single blog post in itself but I’ll try to be brief(fish). It is said that we run on either internal or external motivation. If you are someone like me, you are internally motivated and pretty good at holding yourself accountable. This means if you say you’re going to do it you don’t need anyone enforcing that motivation other than yourself. You’re on it. Then if you add in accountability to someone externaly, the chances of you bailing other than a majorly good reason are slim to none. If you are someone who is externally motivated (which is the highest percentage of people), you’re going to do best with someone holding you accountable. To put it bluntly, you’ll likely let yourself down if you don’t have someone telling you or reminding you or calling you out to get it done.  What the heck does this all mean? It means that literally everyone benefits from an accountability partner—those internally and externally motivated. I want to say a little more on partners instead of making it such a blanket statement.

First, don’t get an accountability partner with the same accountability problem as you. Latch on to someone who will make you better. Reach up in this instance so that you can get to the point that someone else in your life is reaching up to you. If you and a friend are both wanting to do better and you want to support each other, a great option would be to reach up to the instructor in the fitness class or the trainer or someone else in your life who has a better track record. Obviously you still want to support each other but you both might need that extra support from someone in a different head space. The thing I like about holding yourself accountable to the instructor is that now he or she not only depends on you to attend because you said so, but also because you’re helping fill the class. You don’t want to let the instructor or yourself down. I’m internally motivated but I’m friends with my spin instructor—I know she’ll give me crap if I miss and I also know she depends on numbers to fill her classes and I don’t want to let her down and be an empty bike that could’ve been filled by someone else more committed.

Second, accountability can be as simple as speaking your schedule or plans to the people in your life. Tell family and friends or co-workers you’re starting a routine or class. They’ll ask you about it and it may just be enough motivation for you to attend. No one likes answering “oh I am not making it,” Or “I didn’t go,” to people asking how that new routine is going you were jabbering on about. Who wants to deal with veiled sympathy or veiled satisfaction people silently scream at you with their eyes when you fail? No one. No one wants to deal with that. Say what you want, but you know you have those people in your life and they’re who you need to prove wrong. Let them hold you accountable without even realizing it. Sometimes these people are the most powerful partners and motivators.

Finally, find classes with a cancellation policy—money is an accountability partner and a strong one. You’re less likely to skip if they’re charging you for missing class. Who wants to flush money down the toilet? Gym memberships are costly, don’t waste that money per month when you don’t show up. The fitness world is pricy–get your money’s worth.  

3.) Do what you love. If you hate running, don’t decide to be a runner. If you hate weights, don’t do weight training. There are plenty of physical activities out there that give you incredible benefits. Don’t feel like you have to do one just because it’s the new hot thing or everyone is doing it or people say it’s the only way to go. If you love walking then hike and walk your little heart out. If you love sports activities then find somewhere in town offering lessons or leagues. If you love being on a bike then spin and bike trails. If you don’t like strenuous heavy lifting, pick up a yoga class. There’s something for everyone and if I’ve learned anything, it’s to work in your joy. If you don’t, you eventually burn out. If you are working in your power and joy, you will stick with it and actually look forward to what you are doing instead of dreading it. I’m not saying it’s easy or always fun—there will still be hard classes and days you want to skip—but if it’s something you don’t mind doing, you are way more likely to let that moment of weakness pass and stick to your guns.

4.) Routine. I can’t speak generally on this because some people are not into routines, however, if you’ve been struggling with accountability you may have to try this one. It will help. Pick a time you workout and stick to it. Pick a class and stick to it. It doesn’t mean you have to work out the same time every day, it means that each week your routine is the same. Maybe you do a class on Saturdays at 9:00 am and then one on Thursdays at noon—then do it every single week. They are different times but those are the ones you do and don’t deviate. People will get to know your routine. You’ll get on a routine so that it becomes your normal—not a workout but a part of life–a habit. Once you form a habit, you don’t even think about it. So the goal is to get to the point that it’s a habit you’re subconsciously doing. If you are willy-nilly all over the map, oh I’ll workout here and there and maybe today, you aren’t creating a habit. This is exactly what happened to me today. It was so out of routine–out of habit–it almost felt wrong. But if you nail down certain dates and times and put them in your calendar and get the help in to watch the kids and tell friends and family, it will become something you don’t even think about anymore because it’s your way of life.

The other nice thing about routine is you will get to see certain people week in and week out who become silent accountability partners. If someone is missing from a class I attend weekly, I always wonder why or where they are. When I went to the gym and saw the same person next to me on the treadmill, I’d wonder where she was if she wasn’t there running and reading her People magazine. You want that. Why? It means they’ve gotten to know and expect you to be there. Be the person people wonder about when you’re absent.

5.) When all else fails work out with a grateful heart. This is the one that will get me out of bed super early on a Saturday morning after I’ve had too much wine or am so tired I don’t think I can even make it to the chair (where my clothes are laid out). Have a grateful mentality. I look at some of my aging family members who struggle to even walk up and down stairs. I know what they would give to have their healthy, younger bodies back —that could run, spin away on a bike, squat and lunge, chase down a drop shot and go into an all out sprint for kicks—without pain. I think about this often because I think about my own mortality a lot. There’s going to come a time when I can no longer do the things I can do today and I know I’m going to wish I could. I’m going to give anything to be able to get up early, hop out of bed and get ready to go workout at a spin class and absolutely crush it. Work out with a grateful heart. No, I’m not being that annoying friend who is saying “it could be worse,” or “be grateful,” but I guess maybe I am and I’m ok with that. Think of people who are dying and bedridden. Think of people cooped up in a nursing home tied to their wheelchairs. Think of people who’ve lost a limb. I know. I’m being kind of annoying but sometimes it’s annoying because it’s uncomfortable…and the truth. It could all be gone tomorrow and you’d give anything to go for that walk. So on the days it’s especially hard, try thinking with a grateful heart. It will help you overcome that moment of weakness and doubt. 

There are lots of other tips and tricks out there. These are just a few of mine that have worked over the years. They may or may not be for you, but if you’re struggling, they’re worth giving a try. Maybe I missed a few that are your own favorites—be sure to share them in the comments below for everyone reading. If you do give one or all of these a try, let me know how they work for you in the comments as well. Now, get those clothes laid out for tomorrow and be the partner people are reaching up to for accountability. You can do it!  

Shave Shave Hooray!

I shave my face now. No, I’m not transitioning or having a Britney moment. What I’m doing is one of the it skincare and beauty trends of late and I can’t believe I waited so long to try it. You’ve likely heard of Dermaplaning (it has been around for awhile) or wondered about it yourself haven’t you? If the term shaving your face makes you a tad uncomfortable or dissuades you from trying, we can use Dermaplaning. Much prettier isn’t it? “Hey Connie, I’m shaving my face now.” or “Hey Connie, I’m dermaplaning my face now.” Definitely a difference. I’m the type to call a fig a fig though and it’s basically shaving your face… and you want to do it.

Today, I’m going to debunk two of the biggest reasons why I waited so long to try and, what I’m guessing, may be your own two biggest fears. I’m also going to give you a few pointers because in my limbo of fear, I did major research, read reviews, researched some more, reviewed some more and then researched again just in case before I delved into it. 

For anyone wondering what I’m even talking about, dermaplaning (or face-shaving in my books) is a procedure you receive by a trained technician one to two times a month, with each session lasting around thirty minutes. The cost is relatively low considering costs of other skin treatments. In the session, the technician surgically scrapes any irregularities off the surface of your skin using a sharp blade. New gadgets have also hit the market for you to achieve similar results at home. The process removes the outer-most layer of dead skin and any peach fuzz found on the face. As someone who isn’t hairy, let me just say you never thought you had a mustache until you dermaplane. You never thought you had peach fuzz until it clumps up on your face the same way your dog’s hair clumps in the comb. You never thought you had dead skin because you exfoliate often with your cleanser but then you see your face glowing like a happy little firefly on a summer night after you do it. It’s kind of horrifying, addicting and amazing all at once. 

I watched blogger after blogger and models and influencers rave about this process. I saw trusted professional services offering it and read article after article about how wonderful it was for your skin. I read the cons and scoured reviews of products only for the negatives and kept coming up empty-handed. Obviously there are some cons but not the ones you’d think. I was intrigued as the benefits of this treatment were wild—brighter skin, minimizing fine lines, lessening age spots/discoleratin, makeup going on flawlessly, makeup not settling into fine lines as much, skin regenerating new cells more quickly for younger looking skin, minimizing acne scars, less breakouts, I mean on and on. I was terrified to try it for two reasons only–that my hair would grow back darker and thicker. Somehow I saw myself morpohing into The Bearded Lady in The Greatest Showman

What tipped me over the edge? It wasn’t the constant debunking of my two fears. It was that I rolled into the new decade on the other side of thirty-five and I couldn’t help but notice signs of aging settling in (to my fine lines). At last, based on my research and my vanity, I was finally convinced to go for it. I can assure you the two fears I was most concerned about are myths and I’m going to kick in a few tips for you if you opt for an in-home treatment as I did. You can pay to go see a technician for the professional service, but you can also do it in home just as easily and with pretty similar results. I’m not telling you what to do either way—you have to do what you are comfortable with and these are my personal results.

1.) Will my hair will grow back thicker? No it won’t. I’ll say that again for those in the back–NO. It won’t. What your facial hair was, it will continue to be. Shaving doesn’t change the structure of your hair follicle. This is probably the biggest myth with dermaplaning. I know it was my biggest fear. I was convinced that my tiny, blonde wispy hairs would grow back thicker and coarser. Biologically, it’s simply not true. If you already have coarse hair, expect for it to stay the same. If you have wispy hair like I did, expect it to stay the same. No thicker. No bearded lady. 

2.) Will my hair grow back darker? No. It’s not going to magically change colors anymore than your eyebrows change colors or your hair on your head changes color when it grows. It’s going to come in not only the same density (as discussed above), but also the same color. Again, your genetics determine your hair follicle and it’s not going to change by shaving. 

I think that these two fears can be compared to people who get lash extensions. When you take off lash extensions it’s a shock. Your lashes likely haven’t changed much but it seems like they’re gone. That you suddenly have no lashes. With dermaplaning, once you have shaved and know what you look like without that forest of peach fuzz, it will seem more noticeable to you if you let it grow back because you’ve gotten used to it not being there. It’s not going to come back any darker or thicker but once you’ve done this treatment you notice the difference. Just like plucking, too. Remember that first time you did your brows and you realized you had rocked a unibrow for a few years? Was that just me? Anyone? Ok maybe that was just me. But my point is you realize it only because you are aware. 

I have a few tips for doing this procedure in-home. 

1.) The tool is important. You do not use a normal razor on your face. Don’t be whipping out your shaver for your legs to do your face or stealing your husband’s trusty blade. Use a single blade. My favorite is the Tinkle razor three-pack. Not only do they work great but they are dirt cheap. Get them here: https://www.tinkleyourface.com You can snag these on Amazon as well, but there are a lot of sellers sneaking in fake razors. I didn’t want to chance it. I’d pay to be sure you get what you want.

2.) Always dermaplane with a clean, makeup-free face. I like to do it at night after I remove makeup and cleanse. If you don’t, you are just scraping off makeup, ruin the razor and miss a ton of hairs and skin. Afterwards I cleanse again and give my face a dousing of my favorite serum and then moisturize. 

3.) While you’re at it, touch up those brows. Don’t forget your brows. This is an amazing way to remove some unibrow action and get those pesky hairs under the brow bone area. You want to be ultra careful around your eyes (do I really even need to say that?) as your skin is thin there. Despite waxing or plucking religiously, you don’t always get all the hairs and sometimes you can’t even see them—but they’re there. This will remove them for epic wow brows. Just don’t shave off your brow tails. Slow and steady.

4.) Do your entire face. Don’t just do your chin or skip your nose or your forehead. Afterwards, you’ll notice—so will everyone else. Do your entire face. It will especially affect your makeup if you only do one area—why does she have a funky shadow on her forehead? I like to start around my cheekbones and work my way down to my chin. I then start up at my forehead/brow area and finish with my nose and upper lip. Remember, this process isn’t all about the hair—it’s about getting rid of the dead skin. So even if you have little to no hair on your forehead, you want to get rid of that layer of dead skin. Also, don’t go against the grain (for lack of a better term) and careful around your hair line so you don’t start shaving your head.

5.) It’s addicting but don’t overdue this. Do it on an as-needed basis. You’ll know. Just like your at-home glycolic peel or microderm, you only do them a couple of times a week MAX. This is a whole other level treatment, so I would say once a week max if not once every two weeks. Like I said, you’ll know. You don’t necessarily want stubble growing back but don’t overdue it for the sake of your skin.

6.) Be careful with sun exposure immediately following dermaplaning. You should be wearing SPF every single day as is, but still be careful going in the sun after doing this—it’s fresh new skin you’ve uncovered and it will fry. 

There you have it folks. I’m hooked and you will be too. My initial results were incredible and immediate. My skin is brighter, healthier, younger looking and will continue to be with each swipe of my Tinkle blade. My makeup (which I had a pretty good makeup game to begin with) leveled up. It will transform your skin. Don’t wait to try it as long as I did out of fear of the beard. It’s a myth. Again, speak to a professional if it will make you feel better and maybe have it done professionally the first time. However you decide to finally delve into this, I think you’ll love it and if you’re still scared to admit you’re a face-shaver I promise your secret is safe with me. 

I’d love to hear your feedback if you decide to try or if you’ve been on this for awhile, tell me your results and how you are liking it. Maybe I missed a tip you want to share–please do so below. Also, leave any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.