Raising My Spirited Child


My little one, dressed up like a princess

Perhaps one of the most cliche and oft repeated phrases is “Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs you will ever have…if not THE hardest.”

In my experience in raising my only child, it’s true.

And when it gets hard…like, really hard, it’s difficult to keep a rosy attitude about being a parent. Sometimes I feel so frustrated I just want to throw in the towel and say, “Return to sender, I’m not cut out for this job!” Sometimes I feel like I fail as a parent – sometimes more than once a week.

For me, having a toddler was easier than having a grade school aged child.  As children get older, they are able to resist more, argue more, challenge you more.  And most children, like mine, will question EVERYTHING….to the point where my head starts swirling as I try to put together an answer that is age-appropriate and understandable.

At the same time that I’m being constantly challenged and questioned, I’m thinking about the more important aspect of being a parent.  I’ve been assigned the duty of molding this child into a decent human being that will one day go out into the world, for better or worse.  Sure, she is her own person and will make her own decisions, but I’m still here to guide her on the path towards adulthood.  I am trying to do the best job I can to make her a good person that is also prepared for this harsh world.  It isn’t an easy task.

It is the hardest job I think I will ever have.  It isn’t a fairy tale, and it isn’t what I thought it would be, in both good ways and bad ways.  I didn’t get to choose my child – she is extremely “spirited”   the definition of which is, “more intense, sensitive, energetic, persistent, perceptive” – which for me equals “a parent who is often exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally”.

Every day is challenging in one way or another.  I know deep down that I am absolutely not alone in this, though truth be told, I do not have a support group of moms to talk to about raising my daughter.  But I know there are other children like her that do everything at 100% (at least it feels like it).  When I first read Mary Sheedy Kurcinka’s book I knew I wasn’t the only one who had a child that wasn’t a peach to raise.  Though my spirited child is absolutely one-of-a-kind and a joy to have, raising her is a significant challenge in my life.  She is often black-and-white, full-tilt on life.  She is either making me cuddle her and love on her, or making me pull my hair out.  And yet – I wouldn’t change her to make it easier on myself, even if I could.

Keep the faith, fellow parents.  Each day survived is an accomplishment.  For me, each day is an opportunity to learn more about my child and myself as a parent.  Each day is a day to remember to go a little easier on myself than I did in the past.  Learning and growing is what we are doing each day, trying to get better. I love my daughter and even with the challenges, each day she is in my life is a precious gift. Give yourself a hug, fellow parents, and I’ll give myself one.  We deserve it.

My Axiology Lipsticks


Left to right: Axiology lipsticks in Attitude, Reflection, and Worth

My experience with Axiology lipsticks has reaffirmed to me that it’s best not to judge something based on one single experience.

When I purchased A Night For Green Beauty Box in August 2015, one of the items in the box was Axiology lipstick in the color Worth.  I wasn’t impressed with the strong orange color for my skintone.  I applied it once and honestly, I didn’t think I’d ever use it again.


Left to right: swatches of Axiology in Attitude, Reflection, and Worth

Fast forward to sometime around late December or early January of this year.  I was hearing a lot of people praise Worth, and it was setting in my vanity drawer, so unloved.  I thought, “How could so many people like this shade and yet I thought it was worthless?”  Well, Worth proved its worth.    I don’t know what the difference was (maybe it was all in my head), but when I pulled out Worth and put it on again, the skies opened up and a beam of light shown down on my lips.  Yes.  It is beautiful.

After this realization, I bought two more colors and I’m very happy with all three.  Each is unique to the other, which is nice.


Reflection is a sheer berry-leaning purple.  I’m in my early thirties and I’m a mom, so I’m not one for loud, exotic lipstick shades.  However, something told me to buy this lipstick.  It’s so unique to any lip color I have.  It applies sheer but can be built up.  It has a consistency similar to a very tinted lip balm.  You can see from the above photo on my lips it is pretty hydrating.  The color in the photo is pretty accurate, although I’m disappointed that there are so many shadows in the lip swatches.  One thing I notice with this shade is that it has a slightly unpleasant smell – nothing overpowering or awful, it’s just something I notice. [Also, I had a cracked skin sore in the corner of my mouth when I did these lip swatches – so that isn’t messy lipstick application, it’s a cut!]


attitudeAttitude is very pretty dark pink.  Their website describes it as a hibiscus pink with a touch of coral.  The finish is an opaque cream with a hint of something that is almost metallic in nature, but this is very, very wearable.  I was concerned that this color would be very close to Ilia’s Neon Angel – one of my favorite lipsticks ever and my favorite spring/summer lipstick – but actually, Neon Angel is a more flat cream color and a much brighter pink than Attitude.


worthFinally, Worth is a deep red-leaning orange.  Axiology’s website actually describes it as a bittersweet red with undertones of warm tangerine, but this comes off more of an orange than a red lipstick.  This lipstick really is beautiful.  I have to admit that when I wear it, I like to look at it in the mirror every chance I get because the color is so special.  This is the most pigmented of the three Axiology lipsticks I own.

All the formulas so far have had great wear time.  They won’t last through a meal, but they stay on pretty well through drinking.  Another thing I love about these lipsticks is the gorgeous gold packaging – they are really beautiful in their tube.  Lastly, the values of the company are great – read about them (here, for example) and I’m sure you’ll be impressed with the company and the founder, Ericka.

Do you own any Axiology lipsticks?  What shades are you interested in trying?


Nobody’s Perfect…Conventional Makeup Products I Own

conventionalmakeupbrandsSometimes I read blogs and watch YouTube videos about all-natural beauty and lifestyle, and I’m thinking, “This person is just too…perfect.” I know – nobody is actually perfect, but sometimes I let myself feel like I’ll never be “good enough” in an eco-friendly sense.  If you’ve ever felt this way, this post is for you.

I have had strong eco-friendly/environmental awareness since I was quite young (grade school) and it’s hard for me to be tolerant of myself in the areas where I still need improvement.  Take makeup, for example.  At least 90% of my makeup collection is made up of natural products with clean ingredients…but sometimes I do buy products that have less-than-stellar ingredients.  One area that I spend more money on is my skincare – I only have clean, pure products in that category.  One thing I have been adhering to with all my purchases is only buying from cruelty-free companies.

In the end, nobody’s perfect.  There are other women who call their approach to beauty products  “80/20” – about 80% of their products are on the natural side, while approximately 20% of their beauty products are more conventional brands that are not as natural.  I’d say I’m more 90/10, but that’s just a guess..here are three conventional makeup products I own and enjoy:

toofacednaturalpaletteToo Faced Natural Eyes Palette – I bought this palette in December with a gift card I got for Christmas. Honestly, these are the only eye shadows I’ve used since I got it.  The colors are so beautiful and blend effortlessly.  I can use this palette for everything from a barely-there neutral eye look, or layer the darker colors for a warm-toned smoky eye.  Every single shadow in this palette is beautiful – and that almost never happens for me.


browwiztaupeAnastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Taupe – This eyebrow pencil makes me so happy – it is the best my eyebrows have ever looked, with the most ease of any product I’ve ever tried for my brows.  A bonus is that this product rates a 2 on the EWG Skindeep database.


phyformnudeglowPhysician’s Formula Touch of Glow Nude Glow – So, I’m fairly certain this is the worst offender of the conventional makeup I own…and even though I really like this under-eye brightener/concealer, I won’t repurchase due to the unappealing ingredients.  It’s tempting to buy makeup products I can actually see in person, as opposed to makeup I can only see photos of online, but that’s the downside of using clean beauty products.  I’ve seen this Beautycounter Touch Up Concealer Pen which looks very similar, though it’s much more expensive at $32.  However, as often happens, I choose quality over price where I am able.  I’ll use up this Physician’s Formula and then find something comparable, but with cleaner ingredients.


Do you own conventional makeup even though you adhere mostly to organic and/or natural makeup?  What are your thoughts on this subject?

My iHerb Order – January 2016

Here’s a look at what I bought on my most recent “trip” to iherb.com – I love the site for affordable all-natural products, including food, bath and body, and vitamins.  My most recent order included:

Desert Essence Island Mango Shampoo & Conditioner

Desert Essence, Island Mango Shampoo, Enriching, 8 fl oz (237 ml)

Desert Essence, Island Mango Conditioner, Enriching, 8 fl oz (237 ml)I wanted to try some new shampoo and conditioner, and I’ve had great success with other Desert Essence hair care. First, I was hoping that the scent would be like fresh mango – sweet and fruity, but not fake and overpowering – at it is!  I love fruit scents, they just make me happy.  As far as the lather factor, the shampoo lathers beautifully.  The conditioner is thick and moisturizing.  So far, I am really enjoying this duo for my fine hair.




Hurraw! Orange Lip Balm

Hurraw! Balm, Lip Balm, Orange, .15 oz (4.3 g)

Not much to say, other than this is my favorite lip balm ever.  Read my review about Hurraw! lip balms here.




HimalaSalt – Primordial Himalayan Sea Salt

HimalaSalt, Primordial Himalayan Sea Salt, 6 oz (170 g)

I’m a total Himalayan Sea Salt convert – it just tastes so much better than any other salt I’ve used before.  I recently finished my last container of another brand of HSS and my regular sea salt just lacked.  I haven’t tried this brand before, but it has good reviews on iHerb.  So far it seems pretty good, maybe not my favorite Himalayan sea salt I’ve had, but very good.



South of France Mediterranean Fig Bar Soap (sample size)

South of France, Mediterranean Fig, French Milled Bar Soap with Organic Shea Butter, 1.5 oz (42.5 g)

I bought this specifically for an upcoming trip my husband and I are taking.  I am not a fan of hotel soap, so this little bar will be perfect.  Plus, I love the scent of figs – it’s one of my absolute favorites!



Gin-Gins Hard Ginger Candy – Double Strength

The Ginger People, Gin·Gins, Hard Ginger Candy, Double Strength, 3 oz (84 g)

Not only am I a huge fan of anything ginger, I also frequently use ginger for upset stomach.  These are not for the faint hearted – I can’t compare them to the regular strength Gin-Gins, but these pack a punch and are a bit spicy and a touch sweet.  I often have a bit of an upset stomach when I have anxiety.  The last time that happened, I had one of these Gin-Gins, and it really did help settle my stomach.  I am keeping a few in my office as well as my purse. I even bought a bag for my Mom, who likes them, too!



Two Moms in the Raw – Bring on the Blueberry Granola Bars (Vegan)

Two Moms in the Raw, Granola Bars, Bring on the Blueberry, 6 Bars, 1 oz (28 g) Each

As I transition to vegan, I’m always looking for convenience snacks that are low in sugar and calories.  These little bars are 100 calories and loaded with good-for-you ingredients – primarily fruit, seeds, and nuts.  I really like these for an afternoon snack!


Any recommendations for my next iHerb purchase?