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Posts in “Motherhood”

Fresh makeup look for busy moms

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

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One of the ways I like to pamper myself (among other things!) is through makeup. It doesn’t have to be the complicated kind. Just a subtle hint of color enough to brighten the face. With the many tasks we do every day, it’s nice to dress up and look nice once in a while even if it’s just a quick trip to the grocery store! Here’s an easy tutorial for a natural looking makeup with products you can use to treat yourself or to surprise your moms and fellow moms this coming Mother’s day.

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Steps:

  1. Moisturize clean face while gently massaging upwards using your fingertips. Use moisturizers that are suitable for your skin type. I like using lightweight ones. It’s not heavy on the skin, easily absorbed, and doesn’t leave a sticky feeling.
  2. I use a liquid concealer to cover dark circles or blemishes. I opt for liquid concealers because they blend well and is more natural looking. For heavier coverage, you may use a foundation of your choice.
  3. Blend well either using a beauty blender or a brush like stippling brush. (similar brush)
  4. A clean shaped eyebrow is important. It doesn’t have to be plucked. Some look good even when it’s not perfectly groomed. Just fill the parts needed with an eyebrow pencil to enhance the shape. Eyebrows help define the face and makes a look cohesive. I use a medium brown eyebrow pencil from Antonym Cosmetics. It comes with a built-in sharpener and brush.
  5. Use your fingertips whenever using a cream blush. Gently glide on the apple of your cheeks.
  6. To add a subtle glow, I used a luminous champagne highlighter with a brush.
  7. I used my concealer to even out my eyelids and a mascara to define the eyes. As much as possible, I keep my eyes clean and simple for a more natural and effortless look.
  8. Lastly, I used a lipstick pencil in Naturelle to complete the look.

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I’m inlove with the packaging since I love wood type of things.

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I personally like Antonym Highlighter because of the subtle glow it gives my skin. It’s a baked formula making the powder fine with just the right amount of shimmer. The color also adapts very well to all skin tones. I use it as my go-to skin corrector even if I’m not wearing any blush or foundation. It’s also certified cruelty-free and organic so it doesn’t cause breakouts or flare outs. Even those with sensitive skin can use this highlight.

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You can also use this look for your Mother’s Day date or celebration. It’s easy and doesn’t require products that can’t be found in your beauty stash!

Happy Mother’s day to all the mothers and single fathers! The world is more beautiful because of you!

Pink Sleeve Top: Pink Blush 

Mid-Rise Jeans : Old Navy

Disclaimer: Antonym cosmetics sent some of their makeup for me try. My opinion is honest and my own.

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Sleeping tips for toddlers

Thursday, May 3, 2018
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“Please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up”… sound familiar? ;)

Sleeping is not just elusive for adults but for kids too. Some have a hard time sleeping and parents are usually up with them. Having a good night’s sleep is essential for good health, mind, and body. It also helps proper brain development for babies and toddlers. My husband, a Child Psychologist, recommends apt sleep hours for kids. Our eldest kids, who are 4 and 2-years-old are already good sleepers. We are in the process of sleep training with our 8-month old baby and my husband helps me with this process. I know not all parents agree with this method but sleep training works for our family ever since our first son. I wanted to share a few things that helped our kids sleep better.

White Noise/Sound Machine

We started using a Sound Machine during our first-born. Babies are used to hearing a lot of noise in the womb and it maybe hard for them to sleep in a too-quiet nursery. This device cancels out unwanted noise from your home or neighborhood but provides calming sounds to help babies sleep better. Our eldest, however, stopped using a Sound Machine when he reached 2-years-old. My husband and I have grown quite fond of it. We don’t mind playing the calming sounds in the background.

Sleep with their favorite item

Remember the term ‘security blankets’? Kids love them and need them. Kids always cling to their favorite toy and most of the time, bringing it to bed helps them sleep better. It gives them a sense of security and calm making them sleep peacefully. As for my kids, they always sleep next to their favorite plush toys. My eldest likes his plush owl, our 2-year-old his frog plush, and our youngest his fox plush. The item varies depending on what your kid’s favorite new toy is. Bringing those to bed is a huge plus in helping them sleep soundly.

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Create a routine

Routines are good for kids because their bodies recognize the pattern reminding them that in a few hours it’s sleeping time. As for us, it’s dinner (eating healthy meal with veggies), playtime, cleaning up the toys, bath time, book reading, singing worship songs, and saying a prayer. I’ve discussed this thoroughly in a previous blog post here. Also, refrain from using gadgets of any sort at least an hour before bedtime.

Reading books

Reading books before bedtime is a good cooling down period. It signals the body that it’s time to sleep and helps calm the mind. I’ve mentioned a few of my baby’s favorite books in a separate entry here. For my two boys, their current favorite books are “You are special” (I highly recommend this book! The author Max Lucado is a Christian writer.), “Horton hatches the egg” , and “the biggest bear”.

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Daytime Routine

Sleeping in the afternoon (no later than 4PM) helps our kids sleep soundly at night. We noticed that putting them to bed tired makes them cranky and agitated. My youngest sleeps twice (morning and afternoon). I love to read books to our two eldest sons before naptime too. My husband reads them a story at night to bond more since he’s always at work during the day. Since we speak two languages at home, I expose them to Tagalog books like “Ako si kaliwa, ako si kanan”, “Filemon Mamon”, “araw sa palengke”.

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Do some activities

Let the kids be active in the afternoon so when they’re about to sleep no unused energy will keep them up. Most of the time kids fidget before sleeping because of the unspent energy they have in their little bodies. The best way to address that is to keep them active during the day.

These are just a few things to help sleeping be a breeze for my family and me. What routines or activities work for you and your kids?

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Nobunny’s perfect DIY mug

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

nobunnys perfect diy sharpie mug

I was inspired to create this post after reading Anna Dewdney’s book Nobunny’s Perfect for my kids. It’s a story about bunnies discerning good from bad behavior told through rhymes and expressive illustration. As mothers, we always try to be the best example for our children. However, there are days when it can be a little overwhelming and it can feel like we can’t handle everything at once. Sometimes I get tired, impatient, and weary.  When I start to feel all these, I try to take a step back and ask for forgiveness and strength. I take comfort in knowing that Christ is here to help and forgive us through praying and believing in Him.

Going back, the adorable bunnies from the book gave me a DIY Easter idea perfect for kids and mothers. Below are the materials!

What you need:

Oil-based Sharpie Marker

Pencil

Alcohol

Cotton swabs

Free Printable “Nobunny’s Perfect”

Plain mug

Oven

FIRST Make sure to clean the mug and let it dry. 

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SECOND Use a oil-based sharpie marker to draw the bunny image as shown above.

THIRD  For the text, download this FREE printable “No Bunny’s Perfect” typography. It should fit all types of mug sizes. By using a pencil, shade the back of the paper with the design.

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FOURTH Put the design on the face of the mug. Use clear tape to set in place.

FIFTH Using a pencil, start to trace the design over the paper while applying a good amount of pressure. This will help the pencil marks be more visible for you to start using the sharpie.

SIXTH Begin to draw using Sharpie by tracing over the marks left by the pencil.

SEVENTH Put your mug in a tray and bake it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Make sure to put the mug in the oven before it’s hot to prevent cracks. Turn off the oven after the timer’s done. Let the mug cool for a few minutes.

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Tip: If you need to fix up some mistakes, don’t worry. Just use Q-tips with alcohol to clean the areas you want to fix. Also, this mug is hand wash only.

I thoroughly enjoy doing DIY projects no matter the occasion. It’s always fun to create and customize something according to your liking. Plus it’s a good stress reliever, too! This can also serve as an activity for your kids to home and practice their drawing skills. They can paint or draw their favorite shapes, animals, or letters.

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nobunnys perfect diy sharpie mug pink blush top

By the way, my pink floral off-shoulder top is from Pink Blush. It’s a maternity top that can be used even after giving birth. It’s lightweight and can be used everyday. I love how the print is perfect for Easter!

Have a blessed Easter everyone!

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Easter GIVEAWAY! + 3 month diaper subscription!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

 

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This post is sponsored by IncrediBundles, all opinions are my own.

As a mother, I always try to be extra careful when it comes to exposing my kids to different kinds of toys and technology. Lately, video games and apps are the go-to options. One quick swoop and your kids can enjoy a handful of games. While this is easy and practical, I worry it may not be good for their health in the long run. I also don’t want my kids to depend on gadgets all the time. With Easter quickly approaching, it’s the perfect occasion to look for diverse activities to keep the kids occupied creatively.

It’s my youngest’s first Easter and the timing couldn’t be better for my first IncrediBundles bundle. IncrediBundles.com is a website that gives traditional baby gift-giving a new meaning. Gone are the wicker baskets, paper shreds, cellophane, and generic baby care products. Now comes a chic reusable storage container filled with the best award-winning toys, books, and products for babies—selected by child development experts and approved by parents. The result is an innovative line of IncrediBundles, designed to address a specific area of an infant’s development.

 

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My package includes books, a Peter Rabbit plush toy, and an equally adorable reusable storage container. I’m excited to read the books out loud to my children as reading early helps develop language skills, concentration, and curiosity, to name a few. It’s also a great way to spend quality time with my kids. My eldest son particularly loves Peter Rabbit books; he got first dibs on the Peter Rabbit plush toy.

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I’ve always believed in activities that help develop imagination and creativity. With so much technology these days, it’s easy to get caught up in all the hype. However, with my carefully curated package of IncrediBundles, I can flick through the pages of a book and have quality time with my children.

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Together with IncrediBundles, we’re giving away a Peter Rabbit Bundle and 3 month diaper subscription to give mothers and kids the best experience sans technology.

To get a chance to win this Incredibundle, all you have to do is submit an entry via Rafflecopter below. One winner will be randomly chosen. This giveaway runs until April 2, 2018 and is open to U.S. residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m excited to share this new experience of baby gift-giving to all the mothers out there! I hope you enjoy your bundle as much as my family and I do!

 

Happy weekday!

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Hello Spring + behind-the-scenes of creative photography

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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Hello, first day of spring! Can you tell in this picture how happy I am for this season?! Let’s say goodbye to thick clothes, and say hello to more fun, lightweight outfits. 😉 I love spring because it gives our family a reason to go out and enjoy the weather.  Whether we go to the beach, park, or other fun places, spring makes it all more enjoyable. Also, this season is when I will be celebrating my birthday with my youngest son for the first time! Today on Hello Island Mama, I also wanted to share how I created this spring themed photo with my chill baby. :) Scroll down for some fun!

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First, I googled an image of a bike, so I could sketch it and tweak some areas to fit my idea for this shoot. The more simple the sketch, the better, since I imported this illustration into Photoshop and added more details there.

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I did the cleaning in Photoshop by removing the background and decided to make the bike white in color by using “Color Overlay”.

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I know, I look silly here… Haha! But anyway, I used a counter stool for me to sit down on and pose in the position that I liked for the riding on a bike concept. Take note that you should check your clothes, like your top, to make sure it’s in the right flow. This also helps to add a more realistic look to the image when you’ve removed the background.

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Here’s the close up shot in my Photoshop workspace.

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Since I used a biking concept, I thought it was better to add a wind blown hair effect. I used my hair dryer (on the cold setting of course) to do the trick. I selected the hair to manipulate in the main image.

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I’m wearing a flowy pink top from Pink Blush, with pretty lace details. I also paird it with white jeans and a pair of slide sandals (similar to these).

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Of course, my little man wanted to join in on the fun too! His big brothers didn’t make it in the photo since they are too heavy to ride on the imaginary bike. 😉 However, it might be possible in real life to ride with 3 kids with something similar to this. That photo was taken in the Philippines. Haha!

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I hope you enjoyed today’s creative post! What are you looking forward to in this new season?

“As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” – Hosea 6:3

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Family Weekend at Kemah Boardwalk

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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Over the weekend, we went to Kemah Boardwalk for some family time with my mother-in-law, who was visiting. We’ve brought our kids to Kemah a few times before and they love this place. The sights, sounds, and fun activities make them so happy! Weekends are the perfect time for us to spend time with Brent since he works all day during weekdays.

Kemah is a great place to bring your kids and family as there are different rides and attractions for the kids, which even adults can enjoy. They also have waterfront restaurants and a playground area for the kids to run around in.

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My eldest two sons always have fun walking around in Kemah. It was great weather too, after we had chilly weather last week. I had a chance to wear a more lightweight chiffon floral dress from Pink Blush, paired with a thin leather belt and a pair of sandals.

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My mother-in-law wanted our eldest boys ride the carousel and they got excited when we finally got up to the second level of it. I think the second level is the best place to ride since you can see more of the sights around you.

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When you plan to go to Kemah, you might want to check out this 25-minute boat ride on Galveston Bay, which is called Boardwalk Beast. It says to be ready to get wet since it hits speeds up to 40 miles per hour. We haven’t been on it yet, but I always see a lot of people going on and off the ride.

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Kids also love feeding the fish!

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Brent and his mom rode this wooden roller coaster together. I’ve never seen a roller coaster made of wood, so this caught my attention when I first saw it a few years ago. It can reach speeds of up to 51 mph. I’ll pass if you ask me to ride. 😉

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Hope everyone is enjoying the daylight savings time! Happy weekday!

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maternity and nursing wrap style dress

Friday, March 9, 2018

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I’m thankful for this month that my baby is now 6 months old, and I am still breastfeeding him. Of all my sons, I have breastfed him the longest. I had a challenging time breastfeeding my second son due to what I suspect was d-mer. Now, my baby and I enjoy the bonding from our breastfeeding sessions! Breastfeeding brings me so much joy as I watch him grow healthy and strong. It also brings joy to my husband as well, since we save money from it. hah! I think my favorite part of breastfeeding is that it’s easy to feed at night, especially during the first few months when I lacked sleep.

maternity and nursing wrap style dress (1) I also wanted to share this cute wrap dress that is easy to use during breastfeeding. I picked a few other floral prints from Pink Blush that you might want to check out. They are perfect for the new season of spring!

wrap dress pink blush

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This wrap dress can be used if you are expecting. You can pair it with booties, wedges, and add accessories like a floppy hat or pouch. maternity and nursing wrap style dress (3)

Here’s a photo tip for today! I like to use a liquid based moisturizer, like coconut oil, on my shoulders and legs. When the light bounces off the skin, it creates a healthy, glowing look in pictures. Just make sure you don’t over do it so you don’t look greasy!

 
 

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What kind of dress styles do you like to use for nursing?

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Kid’s play area + machine-washable rug

Sunday, March 4, 2018

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How sweet to watch them play together! I really love this stage that my youngest son is in now. He’s able to sit on his own and watch his Kuyas (Tagalog for big brother) while playing or browsing through books :) Now that the weather is not gloomy and super cold anymore, we are enjoying our play area with bright sunshine. This is where we mostly read stories, learn some Tagalog words from Filipino children’s books, play with legos and have other fun activities! Lorena Canals sent us this gorgeous rug to enjoy in the kids’ play area. One thing that makes me excited to use this is that it is machine washable! If you have three boys, you’ll probably need a rug that is easy to throw in the washing machine. You’ll also need one that doesn’t worry you about stains, dirt, and spit up from the baby. 😉 This one rug checks off all those criteria. Who else can relate??

The one we have for our kids’ room is called “Bereber Beige”. It is simple and super soft, whether for your kids’ room or for the living room.  There is also this runway rug with a similar print for use in the kitchen or hallway.

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The rug is 100% super soft cotton, which is so nice for my baby to lay down in, especially for his tummy time. Lorena Canals rugs also use natural dyes, so there is no irritation for babies and kids like mine with sensitive skin. kids play area machine washable lorena canals rug (8)

Here are some of my favorite pics from their site that you should check it out for your home. There is also a wide selection of cushions with unique and cute designs, blankets of varying colors and shapes,  stylish baskets to hold items like magazines, scarves, toys, and wall decor! Be sure to check out their website to browse these super cute pieces and for inspiring images to see!

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Tropical Green

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Azteca Natural

rug2

Round ABC

I think this is attractive for a kid’s room. I like its simplicity and how it’s educational at the same time.

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Hippy Mint

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Do you love to use machine-washable rugs at home?

Don’t forget to follow me and Lorena Canals on Instagram!

 

This post is partnership with Lorena Canals Rugs. All opinions are honest and my own.

 

 

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, photography, motherhood and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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