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What a week!

HappygirlIt’s been a little crazy around here. The week started with me breaking my cell phone–Luckily I can use my mom’s until mine is replaced next week. One of my professors has been out for 3 weeks because of surgery. Nothing like taking a college course with no instructor present and still have assignments due that you have no idea what is needed and no professor to ask. 4 more weeks and the semester is over. I’ll get a nice break for the summer.

Marina has been doing a great job with her balance and has thought about taking a few steps to me without holding on to anything but she still isn’t quite sure of herself. I have no doubt once she gains her confidence she will be unstoppable. She loves music and hums along when she hears it and now says several distinct words. My dad built a wood toddler swing for her and she loves it. She’d spend all day outside on the porch in it if she could. She is so incredibly smart. It’s amazing to watch her learn and figure things out.

Marina’s birthday party is this Saturday and preparations are in full swing. Her theme is mermaids and under the sea. My mom and sister made a pull string pinata for the party out of a cardboard box and tissue paper. It turned out really nice :) Tomorrow will be a full day of prepping party food, picking the cakes up and decorating. I’m crossing my fingers that Saturday will be nice and sunny so we can still hold it outside but the forecast is rain. It was supposed to rain all week but we haven’t seen a drop yet.

The coolest thing that has happened so far this week, My mom won a 7 piece Balboa Baby bedding set for Marina from Project Nursery. She chose the Pink Camellia bedding. It’s going to look great in her crib and I won’t have to shop for toddler bedding later. It is so beautiful. I am going to have fun decorating our room around the colors.

I Am One of the Statistics

548454_212484565593866_1517103965_nOn August 17, 2013, my life changed forever. I woke up that morning and took a pregnancy test that was positive. I was 17 years old, getting ready to start my senior year of high school and preparing for my future. The whole world was open to me and all I had to do was push myself and work to achieve what I wanted. I had a very good idea of what I wanted to do with my life and where I wanted to go. In one fateful moment all of my plans changed. I had to readjust what I wanted to what would be best for the child I was going to have. Do I regret what happened? No…Not ever… I love Marina with all of my heart. She is such a precious gift and I am so thankful to be trusted with her care and nurturing. Do I think about the what ifs? Occasionally, when I’m feeling overwhelmed… Who doesn’t? I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. What helps me through those moments are a very supportive family that loves me and looking at the beautiful face of my daughter. Unfortunately there are so many teens in my area that do not have that. There aren’t really any places they can turn to and it breaks my heart to see so many teens struggling with this.

I live in a rural county that in 2013, according to KidsCount.org,  56.1 percent of the 439 births in the county where to teenagers between 15 – 19 years of age. 2.2 percent of teen girls between the ages of 14 – 17 became pregnant in 2013. I haven’t found anything on 2014 yet but I have to wonder how accurate the numbers are. Many of the girls that live in my county choose to go to another county with larger hospitals for their prenatal care and childbirth. I can tell you personally that out of a group of me and 6 of my best friends only 2 out of the 7 of us has not had a baby or has not gotten pregnant. In my case, birth control actually failed. When you read that abstinence is the only 100% fool proof method of birth control, believe it. It’s true!

What really bothers me most about the high statistics of pregnancy here is the lack of resources and educational material available to teenagers about teen pregnancy, methods of birth control and their effectiveness and where a teenager can go to find the help they need if they do find themselves in this situation.  Most relationships between teenagers do not work out- Let’s face it–Teens are still growing up and we make a LOT of mistakes–The fathers also need to be held accountable. Many do not even bother to participate in their child’s life, much less provide financially, which leaves the brunt of the burden on the mother. We have a United Way that serves 3 counties but there are no programs to help pregnant teens or teen mothers, of course there are government programs like WIC, Medicaid, and SNAP/TANF available but that doesn’t help reduce the problem or assist these mothers in a way that will help them complete their education and find better jobs, nor does it give them the tools to keep them from getting pregnant again. It’s like a never ending cycle that will not stop until there are actual educational programs and support groups in small communities like mine.

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Review – Pura D’or Argon Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

Carmen Hair 1I have curly hair that tends to be unruly so I am always looking for great natural products to help me keep in manageable. I have tried straightening it which works ok during the winter months but when we start getting into summer, the heat and humidity really makes my hair frizzy and unmanageable. I normally keep my hair up because of this.

In a previous review, I had gotten to sample argon oil and loved it. I jumped at the chance to review Pura D’or‘s argon oil shampoo and conditioner for Brand Backer.

 

Premium Organic Argan Oil Based Scalp & Dandruff Shampoo:

  • Helps Control Flaking, Scaling and Itching
  • Soothes Scalp
  • Moisturizes Hair
  • Paraben, Sulfate and Gluten Free
  • All natural

This shampoo has a very light and clean fresh scent. It lathers very well and left my hair feeling clean. It is all natural so it didn’t leave my hair feeling like it had a waxy coating like a lot of shampoos do.  I really loved that it didn’t have a heavy scent and it left my hair feeling soft and hydrated.

Premium Organic Argan Oil Based Conditioner- Lavender Vanilla:

  • 99% Vegetable Base Ingredients
  • Manages Frizz
  • Enhances Shine
  • Argan Oil Based
  • Paraben, Sulfate and Gulten Free

 

CarmenHair2I wasn’t sure I would like the scent of the conditioner because I don’t really care for lavender scents but I loved this. The Lavender wasn’t over powering and you got a really great scent of the vanilla. It left my hair soft and manageable- Not Frizzy. It helped tame my curls and it has an awesome shine.

All I did was wash and condition my hair using Pura D’or’s shampoo and conditioner. Finger combed it and let it air dry. I really love that the scents weren’t over powering. The result were soft manageable curls without the frizz I normally have to deal with. I am hooked and  will be purchasing these products in the future.

 

To find out more information about Pura D’ or and their products, you can visit their website, Facebook, or Twitter.

They are also offering some great coupons for a limited time. First time customers only:  Enter coupon code: START20 for 20% off

Buy 1 Get 1 25% off: Purchase any shampoo and get 25% off your conditioner

FREE SHIPPING on all orders within the continental U.S. $29.99 to Canada, $49.99 International

**Disclaimer: Two  full size samples were provided to me to facilitate my honest review**
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What do you mean the gift box is a baby bed…

BabyBox2Yesterday was my friend Savannah’s baby shower. She is expecting her 2nd baby, A little girl, on April 27th. I really wanted to do something special for her. Even though she had a baby boy to worry about, this girl spent all day at the hospital with me when I was in labor with Marina and did not leave my side until after she was born later that night. She has supported me from the moment I found out I was pregnant and I hope she knows how much I appreciate her.

I had been picking up stuff for her shower for a couple of months so I had some really great stuff for her already but then I came across a company called The Baby Box Company. The whole concept behind the box really had me intrigued. The box actually is a baby bed with a mattress that is much thicker and better than you find in bassinets. The box takes up less space and is extremely portable so you can move it from room to room easily or bring it with you to use for the baby when you are visiting friends and family. It also supports safe sleep.

I entered Marina into a photo contest they were having and she won The Classic Baby Box! I was ecstatic as I couldn’t afford to purchase one for Savannah. I then added the goodies I bought for the baby.  A bath set and lotions just for her because she is going to need all of the pampering she can get and a cool octopus bath toy for her son because big brothers need to be included too. I then paired the box with a big box of pampers diapers. I think Savannah loved her gift and I can’t wait for her to bring that sweet baby over for a visit with her baby box!

The Baby Box is based on the concept that Finland has been using for 75 years. The Government started providing boxes filled with baby essentials, clothing, etc and the box doubled as a bed for the baby to keep parents who couldn’t afford a baby bed from sleeping with their baby. The box is credited with bringing their infant mortality rate down and is now provided to all expectant mothers, no matter their income.

I love The Baby Box Company and everything it stands for. They promote safe sleep for infants and give back to the community.

Be sure to stop by their website or Facebook and check them out.