That Time I Birthed a Giant

Well, she is finally here. And I mean, she is HERE. This child made her appearance with a bang and I will do my best to mention every dirty detail of her journey to this world! I hope you enjoy! I won't really be sparing any details, so read with caution! 

March 15th, 10 AM - 39 weeks
My doctor swept my membranes this day and it wasn't my most favorite feeling. We were hoping this would progress me. I had been about 3 cm dilated and about 75% effaced for a week, so our doc truly thought she could come any day! I went home and later that evening, I lost my mucus plug and had some increased Braxton Hicks contractions. After that, nothing! I really thought I would go into labor this day!  

March 18th, 8 PM - 39 weeks and 3 days
Michael and I decided to build a camp fire in our backyard and enjoy some delicious smores. I had been feeling pretty good and we actually took a little walk on our trail that night. I ate about 6 smores in hopes it would force this child out of me, but also because I am obsessed with smores. We were having such a great time and decided to stay up late and watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens. By midnight, we finally made our way to bed. I was SO tired and ready for a great night of sleep. 

March 19th, 2:30 AM - 39 weeks and 4 days
I was rudely awakened by this weird sensation in my stomach. It felt like I was about to start my period or something. I got up and went to the bathroom to check for any blood or if my water had broken. No signs of anything. I went back to bed and noticed the feeling was coming and going. This is when my brain went, OHHH. THIS IS LABOR. It was so mild that I was surprised. I actually thought it might be false labor, so I timed the contractions for about 45 minutes before doing anything. They increased and got to about 5-6 minutes apart, so I woke Michael up and we decided to just go to the hospital. We gathered our things and called my parents to come pick up Cheerio from us. My mom ended up staying in the waiting room, just in case we needed anything. 

4:00 AM - 6:00 AM
They took me back to a triage room to hook me up to the contraction machine & baby heart rate monitor. My contractions were a little closer together, like 5 minutes or so apart and getting increasingly more painful. They were definitely not as painful as they told us they would be, so i was even more convinced that this was probably false labor. The OBGYN on call came in and checked me and I was about 3 1/2 cm and 80% effaced. Such little progress! I tried not to get frustrated and started singing Fleet Foxes with Michael. Labor makes you do weird crap. They decided to make me wait 2 hours to see if any additional changes happened. Michael and I decided to walk the halls to see if that would help. My contractions definitely got more painful at this point. I had to stop and hold the wall during each one. But in my head, I was like, "This isn't bad. I can do this." 

We returned to my room and the OB check me again. I was about 4 cm, 85% effaced. Progress was happening, just fairly slowly. My contractions were showing pretty strong on the monitor, so they decided to officially admit me! I was so happy. I was ready to get this baby out! 

6:00 AM - 2:00 PM
The rooms at St. David's are amazing. They are so comfortable and home-like. We got settled in and met our nurse, Sam. She was so cool. She had part of her hair shaved off and seemed like the perfect nurse for me. She was hardcore and really encouraged me. They asked me if I wanted any meds and I told them no. I was going to go natural on this one. Since it was a Sunday, my doctor was actually off. I had a feeling she would come on a day he wouldn't be able to deliver her!! I was slightly sad, but he assured me that his partner, Dr. Shepherd (hello, grey's anatomy!!!) would do a fantastic job. Dr. Shepherd arrived to meet me and was just awesome. She was so kind and helpful. She checked me and I was still the same, no progress. She decided to give me some more time before checking me again. My contractions were getting more and more painful, so Michael and my mom helped me into the shower. This helped so much. The hot water totally aided in my back pain. The doctor showed back up after 2 hours and I had finally progressed to about 4.5 cm. This was awesome news! My water still hadn't broken, so I was feeling a ton of pressure. I asked her to go ahead and break it to see if that would help me progress faster. 

As soon as she broke my water, the pain began. My contractions became insane. I had major back labor!!! I was crying and yelling through each contraction, which was not what I expected. After about 2 hours of these contractions, I had only progressed about .5 cm. The doctor was slightly concerned at this point. I was half expecting her to suggest a c-section, but she never did.

2:00 PM - 3:45 PM
After she left, my contractions became completely unbearable. I could barely breath, move, talk, think. I cried out to Michael and squeezed his hand as hard as I could, hoping it would make things easier. I truly thought I would try different positions and move around, but the pain was so bad. Arya's heart rate was dropping too from the stress, which was so scary. I looked at Michael and asked if I should go ahead and get the epidural. I had been laboring for 12 hours already and just needed rest. I figured I'd be there for many more hours since I had hardly progressed! The epidural king arrived in all his glory, bearing the greatest gift I've ever received. You guys, I am SOLD. The epidural is a thing of dreams. As soon as the medicine entered my body, I felt instant relief. I could breath again. They laid me on my side since my legs were numb
and I just chilled for a few hours before my doc came back to check me. I talked to Michael and just went on and on about how amazing the epidural was. Arya's heart rate dropped back to normal and she was just kicking away. My blood pressure was super low, so they did end up giving me some meds to bring it back up, but it wasn't too bad. Arya and I were both sooooo happy. After about 30 minutes, my doc came back and I was at 8 cm!!! My body just needed to relax. She left me for another two hours to see if that would get me fully dilated - and it worked! I was 10 cm and fully effaced, ready to push this baby out. I couldn't believe it! I felt so so amazing with the epidural, everything else was just fantastic. 

3:45 PM - 5:32 PM
The doctor and her crew came in and got the room ready for the delivery. The positioned me on my back (if I didn't have meds, this position would have sucked!) Michael held my right leg and Sam the nurse held my left. I couldn't feel anything waist down, so I was curious how pushing would go. The doc seemed to think it would take 2 hours to get her out. That concerned me a little, but I trusted Dr. Shepherd. The had me begin pushing with each contraction, which I could not feel! I pretended like I was pooping and it worked! The baby was moving down the birth canal and eventually, her head was in sight! Michael told me she had dark hair! I couldn't believe it!! No wonder I had such horrid reflux. During each contraction, they had me hold my breath and push as hard as I could. It was so hard to tell what I was doing, so I just did the motions and it seemed to work great. After about an hour and 30 minutes, we were seeing really great progress.

The doc finally got her gown on and we were ready to get this baby out! I did about 10 more pushes and I could start to feel her coming out! The doc got her head and one shoulder out, then realized that the rest of her wasn't coming out. Arya was so chubby that the doctor had to deliver her as if this was a c-section baby. She had to pull each limb out of me due to her chunkiness. I watched her pull the shoulder and belly out and was like, "HOW BIG IS THIS KID?!" 

All of the sudden, my life was insanely changed. This sweet, giant, chubby, tan, dark-haired beauty was on my chest, crying and cooing. I was balling. This adorable girl was our life now. Also, she was HUGE. Like, mega huge. I was not expecting that. I swore she was going to be tiny. I didn't feel that pregnant. They took Arya to get measured and weighed, while I delivered the placenta and got stitched up. Even with her giantness, I only tore a tiny amount. Many thanks to Sam who used oil on me for a long time before I began pushing. While I was delivering my giant placenta, Michael yelled to me that she was 9 lbs 5 ounces and 21 1/4 tall. Dude. HOW. How did I birth that!?! And yet again, I am so thankful for the epidural. 

The doc brought her back to me and I was in seriously earth heaven. I got to stare at her sweet face for hours. They had to monitor me for a while since I had an epidural, so I got to relax and eat. My mom came in and met Arya, which was beyond special. My mom has been such a huge part of my pregnancy and I am so excited that she is Nanny to my sweet girl. My MIL came in soon after and shouted, "She looks just like Michael!" She was so excited and in that moment, I realized how loved my girl would be. 

Soon followed the rest of our crew - Dad, Joe (FIL), my sisters, Granny, Granddad, The Neroves, The Warners, and my brother-in-law, Hector. They were all so kind! Scott actually drove to P Terry's to get me a much needed milkshake and fries. Food is bliss, people. 

After a few hours, they helped me get up and use the bathroom. Not one of my most favorite moments. I was very swollen. The nurse so kindly told me not to evaluate my situation for a few weeks out. She didn't want me to be scared. It felt pretty bad down there, so I definitely took her advice. 

They relocated us to a recovery room where we began our journey as parents. We attempted breastfeeding, which Arya totally hated. She was starved out of her mind and breastfeeding wasn't getting her what she needed fast enough. The nurse brought me the hospital grade pump so that I could get some food for my dear girl. This worked wonderfully! To this day, Arya prefers the bottle to the boob. I pump every few hours and give her what I get. Needless to say, I'm now producing double what I need, so my freezer is stocked for this girl in the future. 

My whole experience was amazing really. I wouldn't change a thing about it and I am so thankful to have this healthy baby in my life now. 

I want to say that my husband, KILLED it as my partner in labor. He was so kind and helpful. He encouraged me and loved me so greatly. I seriously would not have survived without him. I just love him so much. AND people, the way he looks at our kid and the way he loves her... nothing better or more attractive. 

I'd like to say I'm ready for baby number 2, but I think I need a year or two to forget about the back labor I had. 

Until next time!


IT'S A GIRL: Second & Third Trimester

I can't believe I am about to have this baby GIRL (Arya Don Shea) in a few weeks!!! It has flown by and as much as I have loved being pregnant, this little girl needs to make her appearance ASAP. Since I have so much to talk about, I thought I'd just add all of my notes from my second and third trimester into one post for your reading pleasure. 

Second Trimester
What they say is completely true about the second trimester. I felt like myself again! I had the energy to get things done around the house and exercise more. We finished Arya's baby room in a few short weeks and got everything ready! Michael did a bang up job on the mountain wall and many thanks to my family for knitting the crud out of some blankets and hats. As far as the bump goes, it has definitely grown! It is still pretty small from what I thought it would be at this point, but hey, a lot of my clothes still fit! Can't wait for that big bump! 

 Arya at my 23 week appointment - look at that little body!!

Arya at my 23 week appointment - look at that little body!!

By Christmas, I had gained a decent amount of weight - my doc wanted me to slow down a bit, but it turned out that Arya was just having a growth spurt! My gaining slowed down and was steady until the start of my third trimester. Here are some pics to summarize my second trimester! 

How far along: 20 weeks and 2 days
How big is baby: The size of a banana! 
Weight gain: I'm at about 15 gained! 
Sleep: WAY better. My hips hurt occasionally, but not too shabby.
Diet/Cravings/Aversions: No cravings at all. I am anemic, so I am having to take so vitamins for that, but no special diet! 
Movement: SO MUCH MOVEMENT. This girl is insane. I started feeling her at 16 weeks and the kicks have just gotten stronger. I love this part of pregnancy. 
What I’m loving: My giant bump + her increased movement & hiccups! SO CUTE. 
Symptoms: ACID REFLUX. The struggle is REAL. This girl must have a crap ton of hair. 
What I’m looking forward to: Feeling her kick more. Also, seeing her cute little face on the ultrasound again. 
Thoughts:  I am just so thankful for this pregnancy and how smooth it has gone. Arya is super healthy and fun (in the womb)!

Third Trimester
Woah. Talk about changes. I feel huge. I feel tired. I am SO ready for this baby!  I can't help but feel like she is going to be a small baby. Michael was 9 lbs 1 oz and I was 8 lbs 7 oz, so we shall see. The doc thinks she is on the bigger side, but most likely around 8 pounds by her birth day. Hey, I can't complain - birthing an eight pounder will be much easier than if she is giant. At my 36 week appointment, baby girl was breech (of course) and we started to plan for a c-section delivery. Thankfully, at my very next appointment, she had turned into the correct position. Talk about a scare! 

At about 28 weeks-ish, they had me take a Gestational Diabetes test to see if the placenta was processing sugars properly. I ended up failing the first test (you drink a disgusting sugar drink and they draw blood), but ended up passing the second test with flying colors. The doc was worried for a short while that she would be giant due to the sugar levels I was having. Since my belly was measuring on track, that worry went away after a few weeks. 

Pardon my horrible pictures by the third trimester. I got SO lazy with taking consistent pictures. 

How far along: 37 weeks and 5 days
How big is baby: Size of a Swiss Chard - so weird. haha
Weight gain: I'm at about 28 lbs gained. I FEEL IT. 
Sleep: Terrible. Just terrible. My hips hurt all night long. I wake up every time I turn. 
Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Nill. I am just eating to live at this point. haha
Movement: THIS CHILD. She is a ninja. She turned from breech position without me even feeling a thing. I can see her feet kick me now and it is adorable. I will totally miss this.
What I’m loving: My giant bump and her movements. Seriously. I am giant. 
Symptoms: ACID REFLUX x a billion
What I’m looking forward to: Her arrival! I am excited about the labor process and getting to see her precious face for the first time!
Thoughts:  I am excited and nervous about the change that is about to happen. I want to cherish this time with Michael and Cheerio. 

Well I hope this summarizes everything up nicely. I have had a really uneventful pregnancy thus far and I hope to keep it that way. I am planning on a natural, unmedicated birth, but we shall see. I am totally open minded because I've never pushed a baby out of me before. Plus, with my scoliosis, I might have horrible pain, who knows?! 

I'm praying she comes early - I don't want to be induced if she comes late. But again, I'm open to anything that brings my baby into the world healthy, and happy. 

Thanks for following my journey, peeps! See you once she is here!

This Ego is Preggo - 1st Trimester

Well, we did it. I'm pregnant. It still feels super weird and totally hasn't set in yet!! We are super excited and I cannot express how thrilled I am with how things have gone thus far and I can't wait to see how they progress. 

So for those of you who are just dying to know all the deets regarding my first trimester fun, read on!

Finding Out
I was about 4 weeks when I found out I was pregnant. I had zero symptoms, but wanted to drink a margarita by the pool so I tested, just in case, because margaritas. To my insane surprise, two bright pink lines popped up on the test. I WAS SO SURPRISED. I totally did not think I was pregnant. I texted Michael immediately because I am such a big mouth and wanted to tell him immediately. It took him about an hour to get back to me (hardest hour of my life) and he was also super surprised! Yay babies! We let our parents know ASAP, along with my two sisters. They were all over-joyed!! We wanted to wait until I was 12 weeks before letting the masses know, just in case something happened.





My first symptom were moderate cramps - kind of like my period was coming.  This scared me because I did not think I'd feel like this while being pregnant! I seriously thought my only symptoms would be puking and getting a belly. Also, I had some major paranoia. I was freaking out about any potential issues that could come up. I was not prepared for that. Thank goodness for Michael and his sanity and love for me. Soon after the cramps/paranoia ended, I started feeling better for a few days before starting to feel slightly "motion sick." This followed me up until about 13.5 weeks. Around 5 PM every night, I would start to feel like I had been in a car all day and could barely eat anything. All I wanted was cereal and milk. It wasn't that bad and I feel very fortunate to not have puked at all. Shout out to you ladies who have/had morning sickness! You are my hero. 

Around 6 weeks, I started spotting, which scared the crud out of me. I called the doctor and they informed me that it was normal as long as it stayed light. I watched it for a few days and it eventually went away. At about 7 weeks, it came back and lasted off and on until about 8 weeks. I was still spotting at my first appointment! Thankfully, baby's heartbeat was nice and strong and baby was bouncing around like a little bean. Praise the Lord! I haven't had spotting since 8 weeks!

Tiredness & Constipation have been my most consistent symptoms through the beginning of my second trimester. They aren't too bad, just mostly annoying. But again, I'll take it over other things that could be going on. 

Belly Pics
Here are pics of my stomach growth progression. I started with a little pooch, since you know, I'm alive and love food. At about 8 weeks, my stomach starting poking a bit more - still not sure if that was from food, bloating, or constipation (real talk). However, still stoked that I was showing a smidgen! 

Here are a few additional details that apply to how I feel currently (questions from my awesome friend, Jessica Warfield):

How far along: 14 weeks and 3 days

How big is baby:  Baby is as big as a troll doll - so almost 4 inches or so

Weight gain:  So far I am up to .4 pounds as of my last appointment 

Sleep: Was great for a while and now it is harder due to back pain (thanks, scoliosis!)

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: I almost typed no cravings here - LOL - SUSHI. So much sushi. Give me all the sushi. Of course, vegetarian. For the most part, I am eating like I did before getting preggo. I do get super hungry if I wait too long to eat. 

Movement: I feel occasional flutters and the occasional pinch

What I’m loving: I love having a bump! It is so insanely fun. I've never felt so confident. 

Symptoms: As of the second trimester, just tired and constipated. :]

What I’m looking forward to: Finding out the baby's gender is going to be so fun! We can't wait to see what our little thang is going to be!

Thoughts:  Being pregnant has been awesome so far and I pray that things continue to progress healthily!

We are so unbelievably grateful for how things are going and can't wait for the next 6 months to fly by so that we can hold our little kid and love them forever. We are also terrified. So pray for that. ;]

Until next time!


Eyelash Confessions - Part 1

Hey guys! It has literally been MONTHS since I last wrote in this thing, so I apologize if you are a frequent refresher of my blog. As a token of my shame, I do come bearing gifts! EYELASH EXTENSIONS PEOPLE. I seriously have wanted to talk about this for so long, but didn't have the guts to get them, so here we are, months of questioning and research later and I now have them!!!

I have been following a string of bloggers who are obsessed with their lashes and had them done by close friends or by a small, trusted salon. From what I can tell by my research, it is better to pay the big bucks for eyelash extensions because you will get what you paid for. This is what made me super nervous to get them. I wanted to get these for my trip to Tahoe in July. A huge draw was that we would be hiking + taking tons of pics, so I wanted to be able to pop out of bed and hit the trails while looking like a decent human being. I really really didn't want to drop $250 bucks for a new set and then like $150 bucks a month to maintain them. That just didn't seem worth it to me.

Enter Amazing Lash Studio. This is a Eyelash extension shop in Austin that offers reasonable prices for us mere mortals to afford the beauty and convenience of fake eyelashes. On Facebook, unfortunately enough, they were advertising $79.99 for a full-set, normal $250. Okay, YES. That was great, but the whole "You get what you pay for" thing was just screaming in my mind. I started reading all the reviews on the one by my house and was so lucky to find nothing too horrible. The stylists were great and a ton of people posted pics of their lashes, so my confidence was insanely boosted. 

A few days after mulling and extreme bi-polar back and forth mind games, I called and made my appointment. It was going to take TWO HOURS of laying still and having someone mess with my eyes. Sounds great. 

The Big Day. Fast-forward to Monday of this week. I walk into the doors at Amazing Lash Studio and start filling out the form that says I won't slay them if they screw up my eyes.  I wait. One of the receptionist came over to talk about their membership plan (which I auto-tuned out of my brain because memberships are commitment and that's scary.) She then asked me what my eyelash style preference was. You could choose from Cute, Sexy, Natural, and Gorgeous. I, being a bit big in my choices, immediately chose Gorgeous. The bigger the better for my $79.99 lashes. 

The eyelash master, Miranda, came back and talked me through lengths, styles, etc. She made me feel SO much better about my choice and began explaining her lashes. They looked amazing, so I was like, I want that exactly. She proceeded to tape down my bottom lashes, which seriously did suck so hard. My eyes rebelled for about 10 minutes before surrendering to the pains of beauty. 

Miranda and I talked for the entire two hours - it was awesome! She was like my little counselor and solved all of my problems so that was a major bonus. She was super gentle with my eyes too and never made me feel weird. 

Eyelash Kingdom. I looked in the mirror after she was finished and was legit scared. What had I DONE? I looked so girly... so done. I have worn cat-eye just for like 7 years, so this was just so different. Not to mention my eyes felt heavy. I got to my car and started taking snapchat selfies because I wanted affirmation that I didn't look like a total Prom Queen. My hubby liked them okay - bless him for tolerating all of my weekly changes.  I got home and just stared for a while - this was me now? The rest of the day I was like, I am not keeping these. Again, bi-polar back and forth games for days. I have still changed my mind like 10 times about whether I want to keep these or not. 



To tell you the truth, I still don't know how I feel about these. One second, I love them so much and even more, I love that it takes me 3 minutes to get ready now. The other, I am like, no, get them off, my eyes water so much, I look like a princess, bleh. I'll let you know in a few days how I really feel. Today was the first day I couldn't feel them every time I blinked, so we are besties for now.

(Side note: I ended up trimming my lashes a bit to make them look thicker and also because them being so long started to hurt my eyes. The style above would be considered "sexy.")

If you think these are for you, I stress this: RESEARCH. Read up on this crap. I didn't even think about researching what girls with watery eyes should do. I would also look up different styles and take screenshots. That helped my stylist so much when creating my lash look. If there will be a next time for me, I am going to do the sexy style. It is more of a cat eye shape, which is kind of my thing. 

I hope this spazzy review helps you in your eyelash choices, whether you stick with your favorite mascara (Fav drug store brand: Almay Mult-Benefit, Fav high end brand: Too Faced Better than Sex) or decide to take the plunge. I'm planning on writing a Part 2 upon my return from Lake Tahoe! 

Until then peeps, 

Stay Home Club


I just wanted to take a sec and rant about Stay Home Club again. I seriously can't tell you about how much I love their stuff. I am a huge fan of anything that encourages my introversion (seriously, I just want to stay home always.) Since I love all of their shirts equally, I thought I would share with you guys all of the ones I decided to purchase! So behold, my Stay Home Collection! 

Because, My Chemical Romance. 


Pugs for days.

Wearing this makes my day way better.

Please note at how my hair is different in every single picture, but these were taken within three months. Problems people. Another thing I totally love about SHC is that everything is shipped freaking fast & the prices are amazing. Their stuff is quality and makes you feel awesome! Get your own awesome SHC today!


All of these opinions are 100% my own! I am not sponsored or payed to talk about how much I love SHC! If you would like more info on SHC, you can email me at!

Why is health the most hard?!

Why does working out have to be so hard sometimes?? I mean, I feel freaking awesome after a few mile jog mixed with some stretching. It should be the easiest thing in the world! Alas, it is one of the hardest things to keep up with and happens to be the first thing I get rid of once my life gets crazy. The cycle is always the same - things get busy, I stop exercising, I start eating crappy, I start gaining weight, I start binge watching more shows because I'm feeling bad, I hide under blankets, I sneak chocolate into bed, I start to hate the way I look and then I become the laziest, most unhappy person ever. Why!!!!!!!

Needless to say, I am done feeling crappy and I am ready to get back on the exercise horse! AND to fully commit, I’ve already signed up my hubby and myself to run the Cap10K! For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a 6.2 mile run by the capitol building here in Austin. The weather has been beautiful the last couple of weeks as it is starting to warm up. I started running with my husband and his co-workers every Wednesday around Townlake and it has been a blast. I would like to point out that it is February and we are seeing highs in the 70's. Thank you, Austin.

 Running with friends at Townlake in Downtown Austin

Running with friends at Townlake in Downtown Austin

Our last run ended us up at Casa del Luz, which was a unique experience to say the least. You pay as you walk in without knowing what vegan surprise you’re going to be eating. It turns out, their cauliflower soup was AMAZING. And their picked cabbage, greens, and beets were umm… healthy. Definitely healthy. Although maybe not as delicious as a spicy chicken sandwich and some waffle fries dipped in Chick-Fil-A sauce, it was absolutely worth how good it makes you feel afterwards!

It’s been hard getting back into the habit with the new puppy and the recent weekend work events, but I’m going to put together a running plan to get back into the hang of things. Next week, I’m going to start doing some high intensity interval training. 30 seconds sprinting, 60 seconds walking. repeat. I’m really excited to reincorporate running since I love it so much! Another thing I want to start doing is attending weekly classes. In fact, last night was my first pilates class and I feel like a million, soggy, pained, broken bucks. It was so wonderful. I'm starting to feel like myself again.

 Cheerio all up in my grill after a workout

Cheerio all up in my grill after a workout

I’m always curious what exercise techniques work for different people. What are YOUR favorite training exercises?

What the lob?!

Well, I am at it again! I done chopped off some hair. I would really appreciate it if my brain would be content with my hair for more than one month. Alas, I am a junkie. I literally woke up on Thursday morning, asked some opinions of my friends, contacted Courtney, and chopped my hair Thursday night. 

Needless to say, I love my hair like this! As spontaneous as this decision was, I had been pinteresting (new verb?) different Lob hair styles over the past few years. Btw: LOB stands for Long Bob - for those of you who don't constantly search the different variations of lob (long bob, lob do, lob hair, lob lob.) I can really thank Vanessa, my awesome co-worker for helping me take the plunge.

I don't know about you, but I am super self-aware of my body, specifically my broad shoulders and rattlesnake head shaped jaw. Straight up. I feel like a Goliath woman coming to take-over the world. When I mentioned to Vanessa that I was a little nervous to cut my hair to my shoulders because of my mammoth self-perception, she laughed out loud and told me that was ridiculous. So thank you, Vanessa, for making me realize that I am a beauty no matter how wide my shoulders are and that I can do whatever I want. #power

Check out these sick pics of Court's mad skills. I feel like I could climb a mountain! 
Until next time!






Cheerio "2 Chainz" Shea

As some of you are already aware, I’ve been a tad pre-occupied the last few weeks with a new PUG puppy! Okay, total understatement; I’m COMPLETELY OBSESSED. Michael and I finally picked up our dream pug! I have been longing for this little baby head since I was an adolescent. Her name is Cheerio, however, sometimes we call her Ms. Jackson when she is being sassy. Long live Outcast.

Cheerio is everything we’ve ever wanted in a puppy and more, and has such a crazy personality. One second she just wants to be loved and held, the next she’s biting your toes with a thirst for blood that rivals Dracula himself. But at the end of the day, her cuteness almost makes you forget that earlier she woke you up in the middle of the night screaming bloody murder while pooping out sticks that she ate when you weren’t looking.

Like any good pug, Cheerio has a few quirks that make us just die laughing, like when she runs around in circles while in a weird squatting position. And when we give her treats for good behavior, sometimes instead of eating it, she’ll carry it around the house whining until she finds a good place to “bury” it. Aka, in your shirt on the floor or under your pillow.

She isn’t all fun and games though. Since we both work full-time jobs, it’s been quite the feat trying to house-train her. Thankfully, my awesome boss has been flexible with my work schedule so that I can go home to train her! We keep her in the bathroom with a pee pad while we’re gone, and then try to train her to use the backyard while we’re home. She’s getting the hang of it slowly but surely.

Michael is all about teaching her to be the next grand champion trick master. She’s 3 months old and can already sit, shake, lay down, stay, and come. Rolling over is a completely different story. She loves doing tricks and behaves so much better afterwards. She’s too smart for her own good and sometimes giving her tasks is the only way to calm her down and keep her from becoming a godzilla-child. More pug stories to come!

Click here to watch Michael teach Cheerio tricks!


I don't like dresses. I own about 5 of them and only wear 2 of them about once every few months. I feel trapped in dresses. And also cold. I get really cold in dresses. When my friend, Chez, posted about Dressember in early November, I politely scrolled past and wrote it off as something that didn't really need my help. I had read posts about Dressember the year before, learning that you wear a dress every day in December to help raise awareness of women, men, and children trapped in slavery. About a week before December, I got a notification that I had been tagged in a comment. Chez had called my name out specifically as needing to join her team, Team Twirl. I couldn't say no after that call out and I am beyond happy that I didn't! 

It is December 5th, Day 5 of Dressember. I can't believe how impactful the past five days have been! Dressember has raised over $250,000 for A21 & The International Justice Mission.  This is because women and men from all over have partnered together to raise awareness and to abolish modern day slavery by wearing a piece of clothing. That's all we have to do to help these precious people. It's such a small, tiny thing that I thought would make no difference, but now I see what an impact the small things can make! I can't wait to share Dressember with my future children. I can't wait to show them that it is through the small things that we make the biggest difference for those in need. 

It is only the 5th, so if you want to join this movement, donate, or learn more, you can visit my donation page.  Share this with your friends and family! Join the revolution to rescue people trapped in slavery!

Here are the ways I have been reppin my dresses for Dressember: 

 Day 1 - Classic black dress + Red tights + Black boots + Target green cardigan

Day 1 - Classic black dress + Red tights + Black boots + Target green cardigan

 Day 3 - Classic black dress + So Worth Loving tee + Red tights + Black boots

Day 3 - Classic black dress + So Worth Loving tee + Red tights + Black boots

 Day 5 - Classic black dress + Vision tee + Black flats + Sam's Club cardigan

Day 5 - Classic black dress + Vision tee + Black flats + Sam's Club cardigan

The Winter Excuse

I dyed my hair red brown. I did it. I couldn't help myself. I was bored of the pink (which I am sad to say, but I was!) I decided to conquer this on my own this time. Perhaps not my finest work, but this is by far my most complimented hair color ever! I haven't had brownish hair in like 5 years, but it feels pretty awesome. I like having such dark hair when it is cold. It makes me feel cozier for some reason. Here are some pics of my hair when it was starting to fade, along with some pics of the fresh color! I have a sickness, seriously. I'll probably be posting in like one month about how I dyed my hair green. Who freaking knows. ha.

Here is to an awesome, brown December! ;] 

 A lovely pic of my and my younger sisters during Thanksgiving. My hair had faded to the max. 

A lovely pic of my and my younger sisters during Thanksgiving. My hair had faded to the max. 

 A little retro pic of my new do. Loving my pug sweater featured in this pic! 

A little retro pic of my new do. Loving my pug sweater featured in this pic! 

The Toad Village

My husband and I absolutely love adventuring. We've ventured to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a week of hiking, horseback riding, and Yellowstoning. We've traveled 23 hours to New Zealand for 3 weeks of nonsense. At one point, we hiked a mountain without any food or water. I wouldn't recommend that at all, but hey, it was memorable and super fun. I wish we could adventure more. Working full-time and owning a home pretty much takes up all of our time, so we miss out on a lot of the little adventures Austin has to offer. 

When I was a little one, adventure was apart of every waking hour. It came before school, sleep, and most definitely chores. I would run around in mini-swamps and crawl through gutters to find toads, amongst other creatures of the earth.  I would bring toads back to my house and put them in my polly pocket houses to live for days on end. Sometimes, they would accidentally die because they refused to eat the cheese I would leave them. (All animals love cheese, right?) Michael also used to capture toads and sirens for his kiddy pool make-shift aquarium. Had we met as children, we would have been best friends. 

A few weeks ago on my birthday, we came across a crack in my in-laws ground that was FILLED with toads. There were like 12 in all shapes and sizes. Needless to say, we flipped. So much excitement, as seen by the following pictures:


We played for about an hour with these little buddies. We were so in awe that like 12 of them were just living on top of each other in a small crack. Totally epic! This little mini-adventure made my day. I could have stayed out there for hours. I miss this kind of spontaneous action happening in my life. I forget that even though I'm 27, I can still crawl on my knees and play with toads. 

Moral of the story: PLAY. ADVENTURE. Take some time from your adult life to level with nature and enjoy the beauty around you. Life is way too short to miss out on things like toad villages and random stupid hiking trips. The more I play, the more stress-free and happy I become. The hour of toad play we did charged me for days. No wonder we are so dang awesome as kids. 

I hope you all feel inspired, whether you love toads or think they are gross. Find your outlet and be a kid for a few hours. I bet your productivity will increase a thousand fold! Until next time, peeps!


OOTD: Wild Life

GUYS. Someone please stop me before I buy all of Indy Brand's stuff! I absolutely love their fall line to pieces. Picked up this sweet green "Wild Life" sweater from their online site and seriously wear it weekly. I wanted to wear it so badly a few days ago, so I went ahead and rocked it in 85 degrees of Texas torture. #dedication 

 Wild Life by Indy Brand Clothing

Wild Life by Indy Brand Clothing

Also, I'm contemplating what color to refresh my hair to. I have been torn between keeping the fuchsia or going with something else crazy. I am open to all ideas and comments. HALP! I thought about trying out brown since I haven't been natural since 2011, but I can't decide if I'm dedicated to that. So, I'll probably stick with something funky.

Loving this season of life. So much change and so much excitement! Stay fresh, my friends.

Sweater - WildLife Pullover - Bright Green (I am 5'9 and normally wear a medium in long sleeves, but I purchased a Large because the sizes run slightly small on this style sweater.)
Hair Color - Color Brilliance, Fuchsia

Fall Favorites

Hey guys! Sorry for the long absence from posting! Things have been CRAZY up in the Shea house. Michael started a new job at a fantastic company and Westover has had more events than I can count. Oh the excuses. ;] 

Today is my BIRTHDAY! 27 years on this grand earth. I can't believe it. I will say, 27 has to be the least exciting age I've turned. I'm in the limbo years of turning 30. I guess I'm pretty happy to still be in my 20's. I wanted to share a few of my favorite finds for fall! I have been purchasing a lot of fun things lately and been entirely too selfish in not sharing the goods! I am going to dive in and start spamming you guys with all the favorites, so here we go!

I have totally gone nuts over these candles created by Savannah Wallace over at Lindbergh Candle Co. The scents are amazing and her holiday collection makes me feel like I should permanently wear flannel. They are pretty well priced for hand poured, artisan soy candles ($18 for 8 oz.) which is a total bonus. I purchased Cabin, December Morning, Wonderland, and Lumberjack. I am still eagerly awaiting Lumberjack and Wonderland! How many refreshes on the shipping page can I do? Check out Lindbergh Candle Co here. 



Indy Brand never ceases to amaze me. I have ordered multiple things from them and they always ship faster than light. This makes me happy. They recently released their fall line and it is beautiful. They have tons of fun shirts, along with some really nice "tagged" shirts, which just feature awesome textures and simple lines. For my birthday, my parents got me this sick striped tee. It is beyond soft and feels like pajamas. Check it out here



I love Halloween. Like, unhealthy amounts of love. My husband decided to take me Halloween decor shopping for my birthday. We stopped by Party City and picked up these sweet ghouls. We spent about $50 total on all three. Totally worth it for the joy I got watching Michael climb trees to hang them up. 



I hope you enjoyed my favorites of fall! I plan to be around more in the coming months, so stay tuned! I promise I won't go MIA again. Thanks, peeps! Until later!

OOTD: Stay Home Club

My shirt finally came in!!!! Dude, I seriously adore Stay Home Club. They make amazing shirts and they ship them in no time. Totally hit them UP. 

I ordered this shirt in an XL since they are having a closeout sale on this specific top. I was thinking it would be too big, but it fits PERFECT. I usually order size L in women's style tops, but this shirt totally works XL. They have a cat option of this top if you prefer kitties. I myself am a total pug sap, so the dog one was the one for me!

I can't wait to wear this shirt whilst holding our precious Cheerio (the name of our future pug baby!) Stay tuned for my next OOTD SURPRISE!!! ;] 

  Stay Home Club - Dogs  by Stay Home Club

Stay Home Club - Dogs by Stay Home Club

Phase 2: Emo Lilac

Lilac hair, for the win. I feel kind of like a mermaid and lumpy space princess had a baby and that baby was my hair.

The big day finally came and went, faster than I imagined. I'm telling you, the amount of hours spent researching and agonizing on what I wanted to do was far more intensive than the dying process itself. Check out my One Day I'm Going to be Bald board on Pinterest for some of my crazy ideas. I arrived at Cobalt at 3:30 PM yesterday. I kept moving my appointment up due to my excitement.

Courtney started off by rinsing my hair of nastiness and grime that had built up since my last appointment. After a bit of relaxing at the shampoo tank, aka the wash bowl, she washed and conditioned my hair. The bleach, although ammonia-free, had done a bit of damage to my poor thin hair. Courtney has several PH balancing treatments she does to help repair and rebuild my little follicles. 

After the conditioning session, Court applied the non-ammonia bleach to my head (minus the roots.) This sat for a good while (20 minutes or so) until it was pretty much as light as it was going to get. We were really shooting for a platinum white, but my hair is a total rebel, so that wasn't happening. We ended up with this lovely color, Exhibit A: 

 Exhibit A

Exhibit A

This yellow tone made me look like an old maiden, so Court quickly applied a purple/blue glaze to cancel out the yellow banana nasty. Exhibit B:

 Exhibit B

Exhibit B

After adding the purple/blue hybrid, Courtney tried adding a clear glaze to hopefully bring out more of a white color. With no luck, we just decided to glob a darker purple on in hopes that my hair would take the color and look decent. 30 minutes later and bam, LILAC HAIR!

 Lilac hair!!!

Lilac hair!!!

I couldn't be happier without how things turned out. It ended up being a little pinker than I originally wanted, but I LOVE IT. It is so fun and I can't wait to figure out what make-up works the best with it. 

My hair is super brittle after this whole shindig, so I'm on strict orders to use Pureology (check out my post on Phase One for more info on Pureology!!) and protein building treatments. On Monday, Court is going to apply another purple glaze over my entire head just to keep things vibrant. 

I've already decided that I want to dress up as LSP from Adventure Time for Halloween thanks to my purple get-up. My mom will be proud. 

Thanks for following me on this amazing hair-venture. I want to hear about your different hair experiences, so comment below! What products work best for you? What is the craziest color you've gone? Peace, peeps. 

**All products used on my hair were Redkin

OOTD: Sad Songs

I was really into emo music as a teenager. Angst was kind of my thing, so I really loved everything about My Chemical Romance and Dashboard Confessional. (I've watched the Helena video at least 1,000 times.) I like to think that I grew out of this stage, but secretly, I just want to wear black tulle skirts, fishnet tights, and black lipstick. The other day, Perfect by Simple Plan was playing on the radio and I sincerely wished it was 2002.

This all being said, I came across this beautiful emo creation from Stay Home Club a few weeks ago and ordered it right away. 

This shirt is pretty much amazing and it makes me feel so cool at like, all times. I wear this shirt to work a ton along with my favorite skinny jeans and chacos. Best outfit ever. My t-shirt collection seems to keep growing and I don't know why. Soon enough my husband is going to ban me from online purchases. I just love small companies who make amazing things!!!! (Shh, don't tell him I just bought a Stay Home Club shirt that was on sale... Stay Home Dogs. #addicted)

OOTD: Star Wars

I've never really been a huge Star Wars fan (Sorry, dad.) I was always on the Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter bandwagon. (Legolas was my main man.) Don't get me wrong, I went to every midnight premiere of Star Wars Episodes 1-3 with bells on. Hayden Christensen's acting may have been vomit invoking, but he was attractive. This all being said, with the release of Disney making the newest Star Wars, along with the LEGIT trailer release, I am finding my inner jedi-loving, dark-side walking part of me. 

I bought this Han Solo quote shirt a few months ago from If you don't know who Olan Rogers is, check out his site here! Olan is one of my favorite comedians and makes me pee my pants on the regular.  If you haven't already seen some of his stuff, check him out right away here: The Lion's Blaze

I'm totally obsessed with his stuff and can't stop buying it. Proceeds go to awesome causes and he makes shirts for those in need! Moral of the story: Star Wars is awesome, Olan is awesome, you should buy all the shirts from him.

Phase 1: Smokey Lavender

Well guys. I did it. Phase 1 is now complete! I arrived at the salon at 3 PM on Tuesday and left at 9:30. It was a long stinking day, but man it was fun! 

Courtney started off by cleansing my hair of any build up. She then dried and begin applying the bleach. I am pretty anti-ammonia, so she used an awesome bleach substitute instead. She went through and did the back first, working her way to the front. She then applied some blue dye to help tone down the yellow from the bleaching. I actually kind of liked being blonde for a few hours! 

After the bleaching process, she drug out my roots with a brown dye and extended them a little. I wanted my hair to have some contrast with the pastel and my natural hair color. 

After all was said and done, Courtney applied a smokey lavender that would be a holder for the next time we dye it completely pastel. We couldn't get all of the yellow tones out, so we will probably have to bleach my hair once more to get that cool toned white.  When dying your hair any pastel color, your hair has to be white/light blonde.  

 My hair magic was done by Courtney Riggs at Cobalt Blue Salon in Austin, Texas

My hair magic was done by Courtney Riggs at Cobalt Blue Salon in Austin, Texas

My hair turned out really great for Phase 1. I kind of want to keep it like this for a while - I am SOOO excited to go pastel purple. My hair looks gray in some lighting, which is super fun. #oldladystatus

I want to take a second to talk about Pureology. This stuff has completely saved my hair over the past year. I used to spend so much money on different hair products! My hair was always either too dry or too oily, so I would end up washing every day. Hello damage! A year or so ago, I decided to try out an ombre style, but my hair just couldn't handle it. Courtney convinced me into getting Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo and Conditioner, along with Pureology's Split End Salve. THIS STUFF HAS SAVED MY HAIR. It's grown like 5 inches and finally reaches past my shoulders. It has also saved my hair after excess swimming in chlorine & dying my hair red every other month. Using this stuff prepped my hair so well!! Courtney was able to bleach my hair three times without altering my hair's texture. My hair is still super strong and healthy. This process has confirmed that Pureology will have my business FOR LIFE.

Not being a redhead anymore is slightly sad - my husband did not like the change at first! BUT, I am loving the change thus far. I'm sure once I have pastel hair I won't miss the red one bit. My next appointment should be in the next week or so! I'll post an update then! Until next time!

The Plunge.

Tomorrow is a big day for me.  I have had red hair for the past five years and have been utterly obsessed with it. When I was 12, my dad sprayed my hair with "Sun In," which was supposed to help naturally lighten your hair. I loved it. I loved the change so much that I decided to add in some copper highlights a few months later. Fast forward a few years and my hair was jet black. 

Dying my hair has always been a way to express myself and gives me something fun to do when I feel like a change. That being said, having red hair has been an adventure that I have not been wanting to change. There are SO many variations of red, so it hadn't gotten old until recently. I have officially decided to dye my hair pastel purple. The journey will be long and I have NO CLUE how it will look, but I am beyond stoked for the change! A few notes on what I've done in prep for the big plunge: 

---- 1
Research several variations and colors. I went on PInterest when I began my search for the right pastel color and pinned the heck out of pastel hair colors and styles. One thing I hadn't really thought of was a new hair color in coordination with my clothes and make-up. So, I also pinned make-up tricks and ideas. It is a lot of change, so knowing ahead of time what I need to adjust made the prep process easier. 

Consult with your stylist before beginning the process. I didn't really understand how in-depth the dying process would be until I met with my stylist and friend, Courtney. She helped me understand what would happen, how long it would take, what my hair would do, etc. Having box dyed my hair for years, there was a lot of build up. It will take me several appointments to get my hair to the point I want it. It also helps to talk about any concerns you might have. I was especially worried about the color matching my skin tone. My stylist actually came to my house one night to show me color swatches. I seriously have a problem with worrying. ha. So consult, consult, consult! 

Don't wash your hair every day in prep for the big day. I know this is a huge deal for most girls. I get that having oily hair is a nightmare on elm street. BUT, I'm telling you, getting those natural oils going will help repair your hair after the bleaching. I normally only wash once a week because I don't like my hair to fade fast (and I'm lazy. shhh) but it has helped my hair grow longer and stronger. Plus, who doesn't like having to only blow dry and curl their hair once a week?!?!

I'm so excited for this change and I can't wait to share it with you guys. Wish me luck!