Parenting through the depression.

Why hello there. It’s been a while. 

(UPDATE: I actually started writing this post in January, and never published it. It is now July.)

So in my about me, I’ve mentioned my depression and I wanted to touch on that today. Especially dealing with depression while caring for a small child.  

While I wish I could give a good reason for being so absent. I just can’t. Matter of a fact is my mental health has not been fantastic this month. I’ve been battling with my depression which has been worstened by the one year anniversary of my father’s death. I’m nursing myself back to being able to function “properly” so I kind of wanted to share about what I’ve been doing to aid in this journey. Especially as a parent who is a stay at home parent. Caring for a small person who depends on you when you yourself can barely function is a struggle. A struggle, but a learning process. Part of this disease is learning to deal with the punches your brain throws at you. 

Here are some of my tips for functioning while feeling like shit.

Open the windows as soon as you get up.

The sunlight will remind you that you need to get your shit together and start your day.

Make coffee as soon as humanly possible.

Caffiene is an instant mood lifter for me, and when you are cracked out on caffeine you can be a lot more productive.

Try to plan at least one small outing.

Even if it's to the grocery store. I usually start off with a trip to the coffee shop. (typical Jes.) Accomplishing a small task, especially being in public helps remind me that I can do things. Not to mention sunshine is supposed to help with depression. 

Hug your small (or medium sized) human.

You are their entire world, and it's scientifically proven that a hug increases the hormone Oxytocin. Which makes you feel less shitty. 

Do something for yourself.

Put on a facemask, wear a shirt that you feel badass in, go get that burger that you've been craving. 

Cry.

If you feel like crying. Do it.  Even if you have to cry in front of your kids. I see it as a good reminder that  you are human and have emotions. 

Talk to people about what you're feeling.

From my experience and half of the reason I'm writing this post is that most people aren't well versed on the ins and outs on anxiety and depression. You may not feel like delving deep into a conversation when you're in the throws of depression, but even telling someone you're not having a good mental health day is a great step in moving forward. To make it even easier I got these "Anxiety" and "Depression" necklaces from Jen Gotch x Iconery. Depending on my mood, I wear one or both and it's opened up some great conversations with strangers. Not to mention 100% of the proceeds to to a great charity Bring Change to Mind which supports mental health advocacy. Jen Gotch (CCO and founder of Ban.do) also has an awesome Emotional Rating System that her and her mom came up with. 

DO NOT GIVE UP

Be it situational, chemical, or seasonal, never stop searching for answers. I've been dealing with this issue for 13 whole years, gone through so many different medications, done therapy, stopped taking medications (don't do that), and because of my persistence, I've finally reached a diagnosis that actually makes sense. 

  (Touching on this in another post, because it deserves its own spotlight) 

Those are just some of my personal things that I try to remember to do when going through a depressive episode and I hope that it helps someone out there.

Don't forget to reach out to your "strong" friends who you know are suffering. A simple text or a kind word goes so far.

What do you guys do on days when you can't function properly?

XO,

J

 

The Ordinary.

Okay, so i'm not one to get sucked into buying things from cryptic ads online, but I have to share with you my find.

Its a skincare line called The Ordinary.

You've probably seen it floating somewhere online or on instagram. The packaging is super minimal Black & white and mostly glass dropper bottles. Turns out they sell out of their products a lot too. It piqued my interest after a beauty blogger I follow ( @Looks_by_Lexington ) posted a review about it, so I decided to give it a try.

BEST DECISION EVER.

Heres a little background on The Ordinary.

I pulled this from their website because I felt they said it best.

"The Ordinary is an evolving collection of treatments offering familiar, effective clinical technologies positioned to raise pricing and communication integrity in skincare. The brand was created to celebrate integrity in its most humble and true form. Its offering is pioneering, not in the familiar technologies it uses, but in its honesty and integrity. The Ordinary is born to disallow commodity to be disguised as ingenuity. The Ordinary is "Clinical formulations with integrity"." (The Ordinary website - About)

Everything they make is quality and not tested on animals. They don't even associate or source from companies who do. Im all for that. 

AND ITS CHEAP AF YOU GUYS.

My entire order of FIVE items cost me about $27.

TWENTY SEVEN DOLLARS.

Keep in mind im not getting paid to say anything about this, nor did I get these for free. Also, I feel obligated to mention that I am not a certified Dermatologist (obviously), Esthetician, or anything like that. I used to manage a Beauty supply for a while so I do know my way around ingredients.

Not to mention I'm a full blown skincare junkie.

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Shall we talk about my skin for a second?

So since age 13 I’ve been struggling with acne. I’ve tried prescription creams, OTC creams, antibiotics, birth control pills. You name it. 

Once I hit about 22 my skin finally cleared up which was awesome. Then, while I was Pregnant with Teddy I had some gnarly hormonal acne up until about 5 months (accompanied by some sweet morning sickness.) The rest of my pregnancy & breastfeeding I had that bomb, glowing, clear skin and then shit hit the fan. Well my hormones hit the fan and my skin hasn’t been the same since. Sucks, right?! For the longest time I was incredibly self conscious about my skin. I still am, but i'm owning it now and Im hoping this helps someone like me. 

I’m 26 and I have adult acne. Yay! 

So I get little tiny bumps all along my jawline and cheeks. When I get them I have to go to town with my extractor tool. (heres the one use) They are basically little oil glands which have become trapped and will come to a head if I don't exorcise my skin demons.  The extractor is awesome and if you don’t own one, get it now and learn how to properly use it. I stress properly because if you don't it can lead to scarring and who the hell wants that?! Obviously you dont want to overuse that. 

Heres a picture of my face without makeup for reference. Absolutely no retouching, because i'm not trying to fool anyone. 

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So this is about three weeks after using my newly found products from The Ordinary.

SO MUCH BETTER. Don't have a before picture, but you'll just have to trust me.

Lets get on to the products!!!!!!

First up is the AHA 30% + ABA 2% Peeling Solution (aka Elizabeth Bathory mask). If you dont know who she is, look it up its a good story. 

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Going to go ahead and quote their website once more because they say it best.

"With 30% Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (Glycolic/Lactic/Tartaric/Citric), 2% Beta Hydroxyl Acid (Salicylic Acid), Hyaluronic Acid Crosspolymer, Vitamin B5, Black Carrot and Tasmanian Pepperberry

Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) exfoliate the skin's topmost surface for a brighter and more even appearance. Beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) also exfoliate the skin with an extended function to help clear pore congestion. This combined 32% AHA/BHA solution offers deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes and for improved skin radiance. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use." (The Ordinary website)

You only leave it on for 10 mins and use max 2x a week. it does burn, but its that good kinda burn.

Just in one use I saw a difference in my skin. One. Freaking. Use. The texture was improved, it didn't leave me feeling super uncomfortable and red, my acne scarring looked less visible. I use it two times a week and it is my only exfoliant that I use. My little bumps have started going away too. 10/10 i'm recommending it to you, my friend. 

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THIS PRODUCT IS $7.20

Get it Here.

Next up is.......

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

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Again, this product is amazing. Vitamin C is awesome for brightening up your complexion, helping to fade scars (acne scars BE GONE!) and also helps with fine lines. The directions say to apply AM or PM. Personally I apply mine in the PM. The reason I do is because it does have a gritty feel to it. L-Ascorbic Acid is usually used in products as a powder and this one is mixed with Hyaluronic Acid, hence the HA abbreviation. Definitely makes sense to use this instead of mixing it with water because you also get bomb hydration from the HA. I use this as the second to last step in my skincare routine followed by my moisturizer. I find that that usually gets rid of the gritty feeling. Kind of helps it melt into the skin. I ALWAYS wake up with glowy skin when I've used this and I love it.

Just a word of caution.

This does tingle/burn a little. Nothing too crazy. Personally, I like it but im also an odd bird. They say the burning sensation usually goes away with prolonged use as your skin builds up a tolerance. I use mine three times a week or whenever I don't use the peel. 

This was only $5.80.

Get it Here.

 

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

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Did you know that Hyaluronic Acid holds 1,000 x its weight in water?!?

You're welcome for the fun fact.

So basically theres some insane hydration in this tiny bottle. Especially if you are really bad at remembering to drink water and live off of espresso like I do. When I did my order I was dealing with some fine lines and dehydration lines around my eyes so this seemed like a great solution. I use this product every morning and night along with an eye cream and its helped so, so much. my face doesn't feel dry or tight and I can even go without moisturizer on certain days. Not that I ever would, but you know. Nice to have options. Serum is pretty thick and a little bit goes a long way. You can also add a couple drops to your moisturizer for added hydration. 

This Hyaluronic Acid serum was only $6.80

Get it Here.

Coverage Foundation

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So little back story on this guy. Originally I wasn't going to order this and only had the above mentioned three products in my basket. Then I saw free shipping on orders $25 or above. I was almost to free shipping, so into the cart it went.

I'm so glad I did!

This foundation says full coverage, but I would find it to be more of a medium/full with the ability to build it up. It comes with a pump, but you can buy the dropper for $1.90. I would keep the pump because when you put the dropper in you tend to lose a lot of product. Though the dropper does makes me feel fancy AF. A little goes a long way. I don't like a cakey look and still like to see the freckles that I have so I only use about three drops for my whole face. Does not bother my breakout prone skin. As long as you use a good primer (I used the Fenty Beauty primer) and don't over moisturize it stays pretty well. If you have oily skin, definitely set with a powder. I wore it during a full day at Disneyland and only had to touch up like once where my sunglasses were. 

They have 21 different shades and also make a light coverage version.

This was only $6.90

Get it Here.

Would definitely purchase again. Also want to try their primer.

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So there ya go! I am definitely planning on ordering more stuff from them. From what I hear, they're also going to be coming to Sephora. Love me some easy access. 

Definitely impressed with the quality for such an affordable price. 

Also, they respond if you tag them in anything on Instagram! Great customer service is what i'm all about!

Let me know if you have any faves from this brand that I have to try. I'm thinking of ordering "Buffet" and the Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

XO

J

A not so spooky Halloween party.

Hey there ghouls & gals!

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We've been MIA caught up in the halloween festivities, but I wanted to share our trip to Disneyland with you guys! I get too excited this time of year.

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 Last year we went for Mickey's Halloween party and had so much fun that we've decided to make it a tradition. Heres why it rules. If you're someone like me who loves Disneyland, but don't love the ticket price then hear me out. it's $85 per person and you get to enter the park at 3:00 to do whatever you want. THEN they kick everyone that doesn't have a wristband out at 5:00, so the lines are super short and not to mention everyone is dressed in costumes. So basically its the best time ever. They have an awesome parade, Trick or Treat trails, delicious themed snacks, and seasonal souvenirs. There was an hour wait for that Oogie Boogie popcorn bucket. 

Tickets usually go pretty fast, so grab them ASAP. 

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They did something a little different this year. Disney decided to decorate not only Disneyland in the spooky Halloween spirit, but also brought it to California Adventure!!!!!! Also allowing entry to BOTH parks. I literally screamed when I found this out. Not even kidding. 

TWO PARKS DECORATED FOR HALLOWEEN AND TICKETS WERE ONLY $85

Since Teddy was only 7 months old when we brought him last year so he really only was into the lights and looking at everything. I think its time for some throwback 7 m/o Teddy pics. 

I can't handle the cuteness. 

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The smallest little Halloween Boy. 

Anyways, back to the Disney Goodness.

We went to DCA first because we wanted to go on the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride, but the line ended up being too long so we headed over to Flo's Diner for some lunch. Flo's is right across from the Radiator Springs Racers so it was a perfect spot for Teddy to do some people watching. We got the Turkey Dip with a side of Mac N Cheese. It was super tasty. Them pickle spears doe. Highly recommend.

Note the small hand creeping in on the goods. Don't blame ya kid.

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After lunch we decided to do some exploring and we got on some rides. Due to height restriction, it can be a little tricky with a one a half year old. Thankfully Disney is very accommodating and has a little something for everyone. 

Here are some of the rides we went on if you're going with small ones.

In DCA

The Little Mermaid

Pretty much anything in A Bug's Land.

Golden Zephyr

King Triton's Carousel (Teddy LOVED this one)

Mickey's Fun Wheel 

Monsters, INC. 

The weather was pretty toasty so we waited a while to put Teddy in his costume until it cooled down. He's totally obsessed with tigers right now so what would be better than a Tigger costume?! He loved it!

Just look at this happy guy. 

Costume is from Babies R Us BTW.

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After we romped through DCA we headed over to Disneyland to hit up some Trick or Treat Trails. They have a selection of treats including healthy ones like apples and Olaf Noses (baby carrots) and of course regular candy. The treat trails run all over the park and the candy never seems to run out. We went on the Winnie the Pooh ride (obviously) two times because the line was so short! 

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As it got closer to dinner we ate at The Hungry Bear. I got the Sparkling Lavender Lemonade with Elderflower syrup which was extremely sweet, but good and the BBQ burger (don't really recommend.) We met up with some of our close family friends and hit up the Haunted Mansion which Teddy was completely unphased by.

Definitely my child. 

I absolutely love Disneyland decorated for Halloween. 

Here's the Halloween Tree.

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The Halloween Tree is an ode to the Author Ray Bradbury who was close friends with Walt Disney. Its located in Frontier land and is decorated with all sorts of cool lights and Jack o' Lanterns. Ray Bradbury wrote a book called The Halloween Tree which i'm attempting to read to Teddy, but the lack of pictures is proving to be hard. 

My family friends (I call them my Aunt & Uncle) gave us the copy of the book. They have annual passes and will post outside the Halloween tree and give copies of the book to kids. (I love this idea.) 

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Nighttime Halloween Disney in all it's glory. 

We had so much fun getting to see everything decorated and I highly recommend going to Mickey's not so scary Halloween party. Its a good time for everyone. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN 

XO

J

Apple of my eye.

ITS FINALLY FALL Y'ALL!

So of course its still hot here in San Diego, but once it hits September I become fall minded. I "fall" in the expensive cycle of pumpkin spice lattes and well, just pumpkin spice everything. Such a shameless sucker for the clever marketing ploys. Being a San Diego native I've always felt like a black sheep because I hate hot weather and LIVE for cold gloomy days. 

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Obviously to welcome the first official day of fall we had to make a trip up to Julian to celebrate. Julian is a small town about an hour or so from San Diego and it well known for their apple pies. They also have a ton of super cute shops and fantastic wineries. Definitely drop by Witch Creek Wine tasting room and The Blue Door tasting room. So worth the visit.

Every year since I was pregnant we've made almost a tradition of going up to Volcan Mountain Winery to go apple picking and sip on some amazing wines. If you ever go, try the apple wine. It's  fantastic. But we weren't here for the wine this time. Julian has an annual apple picking festival to celebrate the end of the apple picking season. 

That was our M.O.

Did it happen?

Let me tell you the story.

So Teddy and I drove to pick up my sister and we were happily on our way to apple everything heaven when our plan was thwarted. Apparently along with everyone else. We didn't realize that the festival was being held at the above mentioned orchard. which is located at the top of a windy two way road. To spare you the details, the festival wasn't letting anyone in because it was too packed and people had been stuck in downhill traffic for TWO HOURS. we immediately turned around somehow. (Thanks to my sister for her skills.)

If you want to know what hell feels like let me explain.

Its stuck on a mountain in completely stopped traffic with nowhere to go but forward and with a very fussy and antsy toddler who is screaming at you. Also, with no cell service. 

Measures were taken, lots of snacks and a chocolate milk bribe later all sanity was restored.

Once we finally made it down the mountain (an hour later) we decided to ditch our original plans and just wing it.

First stop: The Julian Mining Co. 

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This place has it all. 

Petting zoo? Check. Gold Panning? Check. Birdhouse Building? Check. Apple picking? Check.

I really could go on and list everything, but you get the gist. They even have a house built from all glass bottles! Teddy had such a blast looking at all the different bottles and ended up fascinated by a jar full of leaves.

Definitely time to move on from there.

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This place is super quaint and kind of tucked off the road so I was really surprised they had so many different things. Especially a petting zoo.

Well, I wouldn't exactly call it a petting zoo but we did make some new goat and pony friends through the fence. I guess you can pet those furry babies by appointment. 

I would've been down. I love goats.

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We saved the best for last. 

APPLE PICKING.

Half assed apple picking. By the time we got there most of the apples had been picked so we just wandered through the trees. The orchard is pretty quaint, but very lush and gorgeous. Teddy was picking up all the ground apple offerings left by previous pickers.

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He has recently discovered a love for apples and the word apple which he pronounces "Appo".   Its makes my heart melt to hear his little voice. I die.

He was so proud of his apples that he found.

Auntie got lots of half eaten apple gifts.

(I feel the need to clarify; I did not let my child eat the ground apple offerings of other people.)

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Moving on to our second stop: Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures

Drawn in by the sole fact that not only did it have archery & tomahawk throwing, but it was across the street. We like weird things, my dear sister and I. My sister took her try at archery and tomahawk throwing (she wasn't half bad!) while I was obsessing over this tent situation. 

SO dreamy.

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They had all sorts of other activities. Candle making, haunted hayride, slingshots, pick yer own pumpkin. All that good stuff. We even got treated to freshly made apple cider!

We had such a fun time roaming around and exploring. Traffic getting into Julian was still insane so we stopped for some dinner after. Worked out perfectly because this place is right across the street from the Julian Cider Co. & an AMAZING taco place called Mr. Manitas Taco Bar & Fruiteria. 

HIGHLY RECCOMMEND.

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Thanks for reading about our adventure!

See ya next time!

XO

J

Overnight Oats.

You heard correctly!

I need to tell you about the unsung hero that is overnight oats. I stumbled across these guys a couple months ago when I was attempting to do some sort of meal plan. That didn't really work out, but I have held onto the recipe since and it has become a staple for breakfast.

Overnight oats are literally the easiest things to make. Like ever. 

Did I mention you can make multiple at a time and keep them on hand?!

Talk about convenient.

Combine some yummy ingredients in a cute mason jar and stick it in your fridge. 

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BOOM

Mama's Good ol' Cherry Pie overnight oats

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Ingredients:

1/3 Cup of Old Fashioned or Rolled Oats

1/3 Cup Coconut milk (any milk works)

1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds

1/2 Tablespoon Almond Butter

1 Tablespoon Honey

1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt 

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Chopped fruit of choice. I love blueberries.

Now get to assembling!!!!!

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Feel free to get crafty with these guys. I switch up the fruit from time to time.

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This part tends to get a little messy, but we're not on master chef here so who cares! I find if I use a knife to go along the inside of the measuring cup that it helps. 

(I'm also laughing at the idea of me on master chef.)

TIME FOR THE CHERRIES ON TOP

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Easy as pie!

Stick that bad boy in the fridge and while you get your beauty sleep (not that you need it) the oats will do their magic! 

Mix everything together before you're ready to devour.

Also, if the idea of cold oats in the morning makes you want to run for the hills you can always warm them up in the microwave. 

DONT FORGET YOUR SPOON!!!!!!

XO

J

 

Hello, its me.

Thanks for stumbling upon my blog.

I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. 

My name is Jes.

I am a 26 year old stay @ home mom. Currently residing in sunny San Diego with my boyfriend Anthony and our pride and joy, 16 M/O Theodore. Not to mention our two cats; Hamilton, a Himalayan Persian (fluffy AF) and Kevin, a Mainecoon tabby mix (huge AF). I love going on adventures and I'm always looking for the best chicken wing place or the best latte. Here are some fun random facts about myself!

(Maybe you can relate.)

 

  • Im obsessed with chicken wings. 
  • I went to school in Texas for Taxidermy in 2014.
  • I only drink espresso. Coffee worsens my anxiety.
  • I started modeling when I was 13 and "retired" when I was 18.
  • I do not know how to ride a bike. (too stubborn.)
  • I suffer from generalized anxiety & depression.
  • I won prom queen at my high school. 
  • I own too many mugs, but can't stop buying them. (sorry Anthony.)
  • I used to co-own an online vintage store called De Epoca.
  • I did ballet for eight years.
  • I can burp the ABC's. (real proud of this one.)
  • Im a HUGE listener. 
  • You can almost get to me to go anywhere with a promise of coffee.
  • I am obsessed with skincare and finding new products. 
  • I broke my ankle at hot dog on a stick when I was 14.
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I definitely am an odd bird, but I wouldn't want it any other way. If think you would enjoy peeking into my life as a kooky crazy mama with her silly boy then this is definitely your cup of tea. I want to share all my newfound tips and tricks with you. (I have quite a few up my sleeve.)

 

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know me a little better! 

XO

-J