Category: lifestyle

make-up review – e.l.f haul

I’ve been asked a couple of times about the make-up I use and so I thought I would take some time to review a ‘haul’ of make-up that I ordered. A lot of you are familiar with the brand e.l.f (eyes lips face) – they are pretty well known for their low-cost make-up.
I found a 60% off coupon code for their studio line, which is a little more expensive than their standard line.
Here’s what I got:
Porcelain Tinted Moisturizer Spf 20
- I wasn’t a huge fan of the color of the tinted moisturizer, it seemed a little orangish for my taste. But I have been using it to ‘thin out’ my regular foundation occasionally.
Studio Warm Bronzer
- I love this bronzer, I use it daily – with or without my foundation.
Berry Merry Studio Blush
- This blush is also one of my favorites, the color is much more pinkish than it shows on the preview and I love it.
Studio High Definition Powder
- I haven’t really used this much, but apparently it’s really good for complexion in pictures.
Studio Dark Eyebrow Kit
- I used this for a little while but I switched to a powder shadow instead. I think if you had thinner eyebrows and wanted a more ‘defined’ appearance this would be great.
Essential Matte Finisher Clear Nail Polish
- I love the Matte Nail trend so wanted to try out this top coat. It is pretty good, just takes a little practice to get it streak-free
Essential Nail Polish in Desert Haze and Smoky Brown
- The Desert Haze is definitely my favorite and considering the price, it is a good polish.
Essential Black Liquid Eyeliner
- This eyeliner was actually the reason I started using e.l.f in the first place. For only $1 this eyeliner is amazing, it was very black and very long lasting. Unfortunately I think they changed the original formula that they had because this time around the eyeliner I got, although still really great, did not last nearly as long as the older one I had.

Studio Powder Brush
- I use this brush to put on my bronzer and it’s great!
Studio Angled Foundation Brush
- I found that this provider thicker coverage of my foundation than I was used to, it does the job.
Studio Blush Brush
- This brush works great for blush – I use it all the time.

Essential Organizer in Black
- I was really excited about this organizer because of the brush pockets and roomy case. The problem is that when the brushes are in the pockets the outside (removable) shell is not long enough to wrap around the case. I’ve resorted myself to just using the case and not the extra pockets – which was pretty dissapointing.

Overall I was really happy with the quality from e.l.f and will continue to order from there. They always have great deals and coupon codes available online if you do a little searching ;)
Right now you can use the coupon code “ECD21″ to get 50% off all Studio Collection Make-up.

And as always feel free to post your thoughts, comments or questions below :)

darby’s birth story

Here is the long awaited birth story of Darby Lowe Mayes. Born 10.14.2010 at 1:25am weighing 6 lbs 4 ozs.

We found out we were pregnant in February and at the end of March we moved to Little Rock and I made up my mind that a homebirth was our best option for delivery. I had done all my research and knew in my heart that this is what I wanted for us. I came to Gabriel with the idea and initially, he was very skeptical, but once we met with our midwife, Mary, we both felt peace about it and we knew that she was going to be our midwife.

Although I was much more nauseous than I was with Gracen until the middle of my second trimester my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. At 36 weeks we set up the birthing tub in our living room, and waited. I think seeing the birthing tub every day and getting the house ready every night ‘just in case’ made me pretty anxious for her to come. I had been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, and I was convinced that she was going to be 2 weeks early. On the 28th of September Amy checked me and I was 2cm dilated and 75% effaced which convinced me even further that it could be ‘any day’ – I predicted the 9th of October. When the 9th came and went I convinced myself that she was never going to come, just so that I would be more relaxed about the whole thing! Early on in my pregnancy we knew that our midwifes (Mary and Amy) were going to be out of town from the 12th-17th and if she came during that time Joni, another midwife, would be the one to deliver her. I met Joni and liked her, but I really wanted Amy, who we had built a strong bond with, to be there when I was in labor. I further convinced myself that she would not be born until they came back into town, and it would be even better if she were born on the 19th, her great-grandfather’s birthday. Her due date was the 21st so I was preparing myself for the long haul. On the 11th, Mary checked me and I was still 2cm.

Mary called me on Wednesday (the 13th) to see how I was doing and I let her know that I was just fine and still having Braxton Hicks. They had increased in intensity but were not in any kind of pattern – I figured it would be a few more days (at least) until I went into ‘real labor’. The Braxton Hicks continued throughout the day and we left for a youth service at 6pm. When we got to the church I was getting out of the car and I had an contraction that was more intense than any others. I told Gabriel “I’m starting to remember what contractions feel like and I’m starting to get nervous because this is going to hurt!”. During worship I started to have more intense contractions but I could still talk through them so I figured this was early labor and would last for a long time, at least until the next day. I didn’t want to get excited about being in labor and then it take days so I just kept telling myself that this was just the beginning of a long haul. After worship ended I decided to time my contractions which were all over the place sometimes 6, 7 even 10 minutes apart and lasting anywhere between 30 seconds to a minute. Because there was no pattern I figured it was very early labor and didn’t pay much attention. When youth was over (8ish) we went into worship practice and at that point the contractions slowed down to at least 10 minutes apart so I thought I was just ‘warming up’ and labor wasn’t happening.

When we got home (9ish) I cleaned the kitchen and Gabriel re-inflated the birthing tub. I really was convinced that I wasn’t in labor and that she might come the next day, or maybe later. Gabriel asked me if he could go out with the guys and I said yes because I was just going to be sleeping anyway. I wanted to make sure that if I did go into labor I had lots of rest so that I was strong. I took 8mg of melatonin and went to sleep, Gabriel said he would call me at 10.30. At this point I knew I was having contractions but I was so sleepy from the medicine that I was just in and out. Gabriel called me by accident at 11.37 and while he was on the phone I had a strong contraction and told him to come home. When he called me back at 11.44 to tell me he was in his car and on the way, I had another contraction and realized I was in labor. I yelled at him over the phone “COME HOME! YOUR WIFE IS IN LABOR!”

12.04pm – Gabriel got home fast and I laid on the bed while he called Mary. Mary told Gabriel to call Joni which he did at 12:07. She told him to have me take a shower or change positions and call back in an hour. I continued to lay in the bed and relax and had Gabriel bring me some coconut water. As each contraction came I tried to focus on staying open and relaxed but the contractions were still not following any consistent pattern, so I thought I was far away from giving birth.

12.30pm – I was squatting at the side of the bed and Amy called. At this point I could still talk (somewhat) through the contractions and Amy affirmed me telling me over and over again, “this is so perfect, everything is perfect”. It made me feel so good because I was feeling kind of sad that she wasn’t going to be there during the labor. After I got off the phone with Amy I felt like I needed to use the rest room and while on the toilet I had a strong contraction and cussed, to which Gabriel replied, “it is time to call the midwife” (I never cuss!). I kept telling Gabriel not to call because it hadn’t been an hour and I didn’t want her to get here and me be only 4 cm and labor last hours and hours.

12.48pm – Gabriel called Joni and she said she was on her way. At this point I wanted to get in the shower and I wanted my birthing ball to be with me so I could squat and lay over it with the water hitting my back. I got in the shower and Gabriel tried with all his might to get the birthing ball through our shower door. He was pushing and kicking it and finally it popped through! As I lay draped across the birthing ball, Gabriel went to fill up the birthing pool and I tried to focus on the water dripping down my face which sounded like rain. It was so relaxing when all of a sudden I felt a pop and realized that my water broke…my body was pushing! I screamed “GAAABBBRRRRIIIIEEEEELLLLLL!!” and he ran from the living room, I told him my water had broken and I was pushing.

1:07am – Gabriel called Joni, she told him she had just got on the freeway and he should get me out of the shower. He then stripped naked and started running towards me and I looked at him and said “what are you doing?! The midwife is going to get here and your going to be NAKED!!”. I’m so glad that, even though I was in the middle of pushing, I still had the presence of mind to know that Gabriel needed to have clothes on in that moment! It was at this time the event started to change, Gabriel referred to this moment as “the eye before the storm”. He was very calm and focused and moved me to the bed. When he laid me down, he saw Darby’s head.

1:13am – Joni was on speakerphone this entire time. She told him to put lots of towels under and around me and for me to “breath through” the contractions and not push. She heard me have a contraction and realized that there was no “breathing through” them….I was pushing and she started to talk Gabriel through the delivery. At this point Gabriel had completely zoned her out because he knew he was about to deliver his baby without her. There was no holding my legs back, taking a deep breath and pushing for ten seconds. I was just following my bodies cues, laying on my side and pushing. When I was pregnant I would tell Gabriel that I didn’t think I would be much of a vocal person while in labor, but at this point I felt almost like my animal instinct took over and I began to vocalize and try very hard to focus on being in a lower octave because all I wanted to do was scream!!! When her head came out facedown in the palm of Gabriel’s hand her body began to rotate and Gabriel could feel her body turning inside of me.

1.25am …she came out. He held her for a few seconds and then I scooped her up and held her close. We covered her in towels and waited for the midwife to get there. Darby entered the world and the midwife arrived 15 minutes later.

It was absolutely beautiful, the whole thing exactly how God intended it. Darby will forever know that Gabriel is the one who delivered her. That is so special to us. There are no pictures and no video like we planned, but her story is so much more special than all of that.

Darby’s birth truly was a miracle. Everything happened at exactly the right time and moment. God really is mindful of us all. Darby is absolutely perfect and we are so blessed to have her in our lives.

Our Home Birth was made possible by Birth Works in Little Rock, AR. They are amazing women who not only provide midwife care, but also Doula’s (which I believe is a MUST if you are planning a hospital birth!) I cannot recommend them enough!
Click for Birth Works Website

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