A Taste of Single Parenthood

I have always wondered how single parents do it all. Parenting is already so hard to do as a couple… how is it possible to do it as a singlet? This past year, because of my husband’s job, I was able to experience single parenthood twice for about 2 weeks at a time.

My mom raised 3 kids on her own. She’s always been superwoman to me. Two weeks is nothing compared to what she and other single parents had/have to go through. Like it’s not even a question. But two weeks for me, was a lifetime! Yes, I still worked and the kids were at daycare for most of the day but the times I had them were also the most hectic times of the day and don’t even get me started on the weekends! How?!?! Just how?!

Anyway, I thought I should write about it a little and who knows, maybe it’ll help someone out there or at least give them a laugh or two.


The Circumstances

The first time A left for about 2 weeks was last year. E was 3 years old and baby bro was 11 months old. A’s parents lived in New York. My mom was taking care of both my grandparents at the time and lived about an hour away from me (45 minutes if I drive ;-)).  I had little help from family because they were either too far away, or our schedules just didn’t match up.



The second time A left for about 2.5 weeks, was this past June/July. E is now a 4 year old who thinks she’s the mommy of baby bro. Baby Bro is now 22 months with full blown temper tantrums. However, A’s parents has since moved 5 minutes away from us so that was extremely helpful.


In both instances, the reason I did not go crazy was because friends and neighbors helped me tremendously! Last year, friends came to bring us dinner and/or play with the kids so I can make dinner. This year, friends came to hang out with us and helped me take the kids out of the house to prevent cabin fever.

How My Weekdays Typically Went

For things to run smoothly, I would get up a bit earlier to get ready for work. E and baby bro share the same room which helped a lot. E would distract baby bro until I came in to get them ready for the day.

Morning Routine

Our morning routines were always chaotic because 2 against 1 is no joke. Last year, baby bro crawled all over the place, so I would just place him in his crib while getting E ready. He would whine, but I was ok with that because I’d rather have whining than accidents.

This year, E demanded that she will get herself ready but then cry because she can’t reach the dress she wanted from the closet. She of course would wait while I was changing baby bro’s diaper and then wail that she can’t get her dress. Like, you can’t see I’m changing the diaper of someone who wants to go commando at all times?

After wrestling them into their outfits of the day, we would go to the bathroom and brush their teeth and do E’s hair. Last year was ok because I would still leave baby bro in the crib. This year, I couldn’t do that because the man does not like to be in that crib except for sleeping. Tantrums galore!

So instead, I would give him a toy in the bathroom while I brushed E’s teeth and fix her hair. Then I would brush his teeth while E talks to me about how when she’s older she will do her own hair and makeup and how she will not ask for help at all. Ok.

Then we go downstairs to eat breakfast which is usually cereal or yogurt with granola. Ain’t nobody have time for anything else. Sorry not sorry. While they eat breakfast, I pack their lunches for the day put everything in the car before I finally pack them up as well and take them to daycare before I go to work.

Last year, they went to two different daycares. This year, daycare = A’s parents’ apartment (and no need to pack lunches other than whole milk for baby bro). Woot woot!

Night Routine

After work, I would go home and drop off all my work stuff before I picked up the kids so I had less things to carry. Last year, I would heat up their dinners so by the time I picked them up from daycare, it wouldn’t be too hot for them to eat. This year, we ate at A’s parents house. Sooooo helpful!!

After dinner, I would then play with them a little because when else could I play with them during the weekdays?! Then the bedtime routine would be brushing their teeths, giving them baths, putting on their jammies, reading them a couple of books, singing bedtime songs, some cuddle time and then finally put them to bed.


It’s just as chaotic as the morning routines, but I was able to basically give them baths together which saved time and crying from either kids. And they slept in the same room so I didn’t have to do two bedtime routines.

Me Time

After the kids are in bed, I was able to tidy up the house a little, wash any dishes if needed and prepare for the next day. I would try to workout if I had any energy left or do something relaxing for myself before getting ready for bed and going to sleep.

How My Weekends Went

I had to get them out of the house. It was no question. If I kept them inside the house, they would go crazy and I would go crazy because the house simply isn’t big enough to get all their energy out. And believe me… they. have. tons. of. energy. I can’t even.

So after their morning routine, I would pack up snacks and the diaper bag and take them to the park or the mall’s play area or anywhere they can run around and get tired.

We’d come home for lunch and play a little before baby bro’s nap time, and E’s quiet time. She would either color, or play with her toys quietly. I find that she liked quiet time because baby bro isn’t all up in her grill. She’s pretty good with occupying her self while I cook, do laundry, or rest a little. (PSA: Crockpots and pressure cookers are life savers.)

After baby bro wakes up, I would let them run amok in the house or we would go outside and go for a walk. If friends come over, it’s even better because we would get to do things that are more fun. For example, this year, we went to the pool! Whatever I could do to tire them out, I did.

After that, it’s our regular nightly routine.

What I Learned

Single parenthood is no joke. Props to all the single parents out there. Mind you, in each of the 2 weeks that A was gone, I didn’t do bills, nor any major housework. So how do others make time for that without help?

Planning is key. And back up plans are a must. However, flexibility within your plans are life savers. You just never know with kids. Usually, baby bro naps for 2 hours. But if he doesn’t, I’d have to be ok with not doing the laundry right away and putting it off after their bedtime. Or if after you’ve dressed both of them in the morning, and brushed their teeth, baby bro decides to grab cup of water from E and pour it on himself – it’s ok. Just had to change him again real quick and move on because in this case, you choose your battles.

Lots of patience. Patience does not come easy to me. But I learned that deep breathing really helps with patience. Yes, you’ve told E not to build her magnetic blocks into an elaborate house while baby bro is awake. Yes, baby bro ran to her structure and pummeled it. Yes, E screamed and cried and threw a fit. Yes, baby bro came running to me because he was scared and started crying. Two crying babies are not the funnest. But deep breaths help so you don’t go cray on them and so you can comfort them accordingly.

If you can get them out of the house, do it. I was very nervous because both of them are very mobile so I always had a fear that one of them will go running off somewhere and get kidnapped! But luckily baby bro and E like to stick together for now so that worked in my advantage.

Accepting friends’ help is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your sanity. This year, since baby bro and E go to A’s parents while I worked, I did not want them to have to take care of the kids over the weekend. Enter friends.

I have wonderful, lovely, caring friends who were more than happy to spend time with me and the kids and I will forever be grateful for them.

Though I tried to express to them my gratitude, I don’t think I can say in words how touched I was when they gave up their Saturdays or Sundays to hang out with me and the kids. <3!

I learned that I am stronger than I think when I put my mind to it. I am always nervous when I hear that it’s that time of the year when A would have to go out of town for a bit. It’s not like I have much for a choice right? I’ve got two little ones who depend on me for their survival. So I had to just woman up and be that parent. So with lots and lots of prayers and lots of self-pep talks, I really do feel like I grew as a parent each time I had to the whole single parenthood thing.

Lastly, I learned to appreciate A more. Single parenting is hard AF. I don’t know how my mom did it. I don’t know how any single parents do it. All I know is that when A is here, things are much much much easier for me.

So cheers to parents, especially single parents out there. Keep it up! You guys are amazing!!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

(all gifs are from giphy.com)

Clarisonic Product Review

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog that talked about the things I wished people told me about pregnancy and post-pregnancy. There were many other things that I forgot to add on there, but one of the things I’ve been struggling with lately is acne-proned skin. Yay for motherhood! Not only do our whole body change, our hormones have to also join in on the fun. I was breaking out all the time! I wanted to do something different from my normal routine that could help me – enter Clarisonic.

Before I get started, I have to go with the whole “this is not sponsored” thing. So, this review is not sponsored in any way, nor am I affiliated with anything I mention in this blog.

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Before I had kids, I was lucky enough to never really experience breakouts. I had a pimple or two here and there, but it usually went away after a couple of days or so. My nightly routine consisted of mild soap and water, toner, and then lotion. If I had a break out, I would use Avon Clearskin Blackhead Eliminating Daily Astringent for spot treatment. That would be it and my face would be clear of acne.

Here I am before kids (that’s my cousin’s baby I’m holding):

Only wearing eye makeup

After Ella (my first), my skin was a little more prone to acne but it got really worse after Isaac (my second). Before, I would get some pimples right before my period, but after Isaac, I found no pattern as to when I would get acne. My forehead, near my nose and chin would be where the pimples would pop up. Classic “T-zone” I guess.

The first pic is after Ella – see chin area. The next pic is after Isaac, see forehead, cheeks, and under the nose area.

For whatever reason, the hormonal change caused my skin to either get dryer or oilier (is that even a word???). So that’s when I decided I needed to change up my routine.  I’ve heard about Clarisonic before but I didn’t really look into it until after I started having more skin problems.


What is Clarisonic?

Clarisonic is a brand that sells mostly skin cleansing tools and tools that improve your skin. Supposedly, the website claims it is the #1 dermatologist recommended skincare tool.

From what I can tell from their website, there are a couple of different bases that come with many different attachments to either cleanse, uplift, or even put on makeup.

For my purpose, I chose the Clarisonic Mia 2 with the cleanser attachments because I had to get my skin under control. The website states that “Clarisonic cleanses so thoroughly yet gently,” and to “cleanse daily to fight excess oil and acne.”

Where to Buy it?

Clarisonic has their own website, or you can get in stores like Sephora and other makeup places I’m sure.

I got mine from Sephora because they had a deal that it would come with TATCHA one-step Camelia Cleansing Oil.


I bought the Mia 2 Facial Cleaning Brush. It came with 2 brush heads – the Deep Pore Brush Head and the Radiance Cleansing Brush head. I also bought the Acne Cleansing Brush Head because that was mainly the reason I was buying it for. The hardness or softness of the bristles are the differences between the brushes. They also have one for really sensitive skin if that is your skin type.

I also bought the Clarisonic Pore and Blemish Gel Cleanser because acne. Okaaaaay?


Nightly Routine

Ok, so if I wore make up during the day, I started off using the TATCHA one-step Camelia Cleansing Oil. Then I used a makeup wipe to wipe off all the make up. The cleansing oil really helped because it broke down all the makeup so I didn’t have to rub my face too hard to get the make up off. (Oh just in case you wanted to know, I use the Neutrogena Make Up Wipes).

Then I would use the Mia 2 with any of the cleansing brush heads (damp) with the Pore and Blemish Gel Cleanser.

After that, I would use a toner (Neutrogena for me), then lather my face up with lotion. I used Cetaphil because I have sensitive skin.


How did it feel?

The first time I used the Mia 2, I did feel like my face was cleaner. How did I know? Before the Mia 2, I always applied the toner with cotton on my face and there would always be residue on the cotton after I wiped my face. After the Mia 2, I found that the cotton didn’t have that residue anymore. My face just also felt very refreshed afterwards. I mean I wasn’t mad at it.

This was after the first wash so of course, no changes.

Did you feel any changes in your skin after a while?

I did notice that my skin felt tighter and dryer. Because I have eczema, I realized that I definitely have to lather on lotion after I cleaned it with Mia 2 because otherwise, my skin would be so dry.

Did you see any changes?

After the first two months, I noticed that I wasn’t breaking out as much as before. I did still break out a little when it was nearing my period but I’ll take that over breaking out all year long.

However, by the third month, I realized I started breaking out again. I read on the site that you are supposed to switch brush heads every 3 months. But me being a cheapo tried to find hacks on the internet so I didn’t have to. I read that boiling the brush heads helped make them last longer. So I did.

I also decided to just use the  brush head with the softest bristles (the radiance cleansing brush). I know I have sensitive skin so I wanted to see if that made the difference. Sure enough, my pimples started to go away again. Here are some of the side by side comparison if you’re interested.

March (when I started), April,  May, and then now:

HA! I did not mean for my shirts to match when I took these photos.. but oh well. So as you can see, in May, my skin cleared up a bit.. but the last pic shows me right before my time of the month so I did have a bit of a breakout on my forehead. The rest of the face, I was ok with though!

Would I recommend this product?

To be honest, I don’t know if it’s Clarisonic that helped decrease the occurrence of my breakouts or if it was because of the actual change in cleansing my skin (adding the gel cleanser and the cleansing oil in my routine) that did the job.

What I can say is that the Clarisonic Mia 2 definitely does the job in cleaning my face. I never see residue on the cotton anymore after applying the toner. So it does make me feel better knowing that my face is clean before I go to bed.

The fact that it did dry out my skin more was a problem that could be solved by just putting more lotion on my face afterwards and I was ok with that.

I think I would recommend this product if you feel like your nightly routine isn’t enough to clean your face.

I would not recommend this if you have overly dry skin though, as it could irritate your skin more. There are other cleansers out there that are even more gentle than the Clarisonic, so I would go for those if you have really really sensitive skin. But I haven’t tried them. I’ve just heard from friends who have sensitive skin.

Overall, I did like the Clarisonic. I am going to continue to use it daily unless I’m trying out other skincare products. Next on my list, the 10 step Korean Beauty regimen! Ha.. stay tuned for that one! =)

Thanks for reading and hope you have a great rest of the day!

(all gifs are from giphy.com)


EM Cosmetics True Gloss Review

Before I begin, I want to just put it out there again, that I am not a make up guru. However, I am a fan of makeup. I love the way makeup just makes me feel more put together and, not to be vain, but it does make me feel better about myself when my makeup is on point during the day. I also want to point out that I don’t like lip glosses. But I do love me some Michelle Phan. So when I heard that EM cosmetics True Gloss lip glosses were coming out, I had to give them a try!

Another disclaimer is that this review is not sponsored in any way, nor am I affiliated with any of the products I mention. I bought these with my own mula so there you go. =)

What is EM Cosmetics True Gloss?

Their website states that EM Cosmetics True Gloss are lip glosses that are comfortable to wear, have vivid shades, and have brilliant shine. It also states that these glosses “subtly plumps the lips, has a luminous finish and stays vibrant throughout the day.”

The formula has a gel base that maintains the shine and adds moisture to your lips. It also has a peptide complex that stimulate collagen production and repairs damage, so your lips can look smoother and fuller. Lastly, it has vitamins E and C, “and emollients to keep lips feeling soft, conditioned, and comfortable.”

Lastly, their website states that you can expect their glosses to have long lasting shine, with vibrant colors, without stickiness and/or discomfort.

So naturally, I try them! That and because I’m just a fan of Michelle Phan. I mean yeah, her line before was not the best, but since she’s revamped EM Cosmetics, I have yet to be disappointed!

EM Cosmetics True Gloss Packaging

Ok, so packaging seems to be real important when it comes to beauty gurus. For me, I don’t really care as long as the product works. But for those interested, it comes in EM Cosmetics signature black and white box. As you open the box, you see Michelle’s saying at the end of all of her youtube videos – a simple “Good luck.” The makeup is always wrapped in the classic black tissue paper.


Once you unwrap it, EM Cosmetics True Gloss is packaged in a simple white cardboard box. The color and the name of the glosses are on a sticker that runs from the top of the cardboard box to the side.  The stickers are actually really easy to peel off and none of the gunk gets on the box if people care about that stuff.


Then the glosses. White lids with a golden top and see through cylindrical container. That’s the best I can describe it. Gimme a break! English is my second language okaaayyy?? Here are pictures of the 4 that I bought.


Time to Try Them On!

I bought 4 out of the 12 shades. I sort of knew what colors go well with my skin so I picked the 4 that I thought would be good for me. Aurora Pink, Lotus Blossom, Red Jasper, and Ruby Wine. I tried to take pictures of the same shade in different lighting so you can truly see the colors and how they look.

Aurora Pink

This is the first one I bought. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, so I initially just bought 1. After that, I decided to buy 3 more shades! The website describes Aurora Pink as a “sheer cool pink.” Since it said “sheer” I decided to go for it because I wanted something that wouldn’t be too obvious. I basically wanted a “my lips but better” look. It delivered.


Lotus Blossom

The website describes this one as a “warm pink.” Since Aurora Pink did so well for me, I decided to try another pink.  This wasn’t as shiny, but not necessarily a bad thing. I liked that it was a little muted down.


Red Jasper

EM Cosmetics describes this color as a “muted terracotta.” What’s a terracotta? Yeah, I had to look it up. It’s supposedly a brownish red or brownish orange earthenware. Ok… so here’s what it looked like on me. Definitely a little more brownish orange than a brownish red. Though it could be my lighting. I still liked it.


Ruby Wine

A “bright burgundy” is how this lip gloss is described in their website. I wanted something a little va-va-voom for mama’s night out. Like that ever happens, but hey, at least when I wear it, I’ll feel like I went out somewhere fancy schmancy. That’s all that matters! Definitely more high shine than the other ones I tried. I like!


The Review

So I basically love it and would buy the whole collection if I had the money. This is why someone needs to adopt me already or make me some kind of beauty guru so I can get free stuff. I mean I don’t even have to get tons of free stuff, just EM Cosmetics will suffice. But again, I digress… I do that in my blogs you see… I’m going to go into what EM Cosmetics True Gloss promises and let you know if they delivered.

“Comfortable… Adds Moisture To Lips”

The comfort. You guys, I literally hate lip glosses. For me they are sticky and uncomfortable and the ones I’ve tried have always made my lips feel icky. Grant it, I haven’t tried many because I don’t like them… BUT… I can tell you that I really do like these. They are very comfortable to wear. It’s true that it’s not sticky like other glosses. I mean real talk, when you smack your lips together, you know there’s something on your lips. But throughout the day, my lips just feel hydrated which feels nice since I usually have chapped lips.

“Vivid Shades, Brilliant Shine”

I mean I only have 4, but the 4 that I have are great colors. They are all shiny to an extent, but not too shiny so it’s very wearable and makes your lips look nice and classy.

“Long Lasting… stays vibrant throughout the day”

After eating my breakfast, I find that it’s actually still on my lips. My breakfast is typically overnight oats if that matters to anyone. And when I eat it,  I don’t try to save the lip gloss. I just go for it. So it’s nice that it stayed one even after I ate. It doesn’t last the whole day. It does leave a nice “tint” on my lips after it wear off though so that’s a plus. I would say it lasted several hours before losing it’s luster.

So yeah, it doesn’t really stay vibrant throughout the day. Maybe if you eat without touching your lips??

“Subtly Plumps”

I’m not sure about this. I don’t think it does. But I’m really ok with that. See  below. The first picture is my lips without the True Gloss.


Other factors

The application. Ok, so since I don’t wear lip gloss, I usually have a hard time putting them on. But for some reason, I found it easy to put these on. The applicator is almost like a doe-foot applicator, but with a pointy end (is there a name for this type of applicator??? see? not a make up guru). This helped me sharpen the edges after I’ve applied the lippie.


Transfer. They don’t claim to be transfer-proof and good thing they didn’t. These babies TUH-RANS-FER. Big time. So I mean try not to get it on your shirt or whatever. On the upside, it does seem to leave a nice hint of color after some of it has come off your lips. I still like =P.

Bottom Line

I would definitely recommend EM Cosmetics True Gloss. I just liked the way it made my lips feel hydrated and the colors I happened to pick compliments my skin tone nicely. No, they are not cheap, but I think that $17 per gloss is not bad compared to others out there.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!!

(For my review of the EM Cosmetics Infinite Lip Clouds, click here).

(For my review of the EM Cosmetics Fine Liner Brow Pencil, click here).

(all gifs from giphy.com)