GIVEAWAY // My FAVE faceWHIP has WHAT in it??

Skincare products – you can find just about anywhere… Every drug store, the mall, even Amazon! Literally. Everywhere. But what is important to YOU when buying that go-to moisturizer? Is it the packaging? The price? Where it’s made? Are you reading those labels? Do you even bother? To be honest, I never used to. A few good friends of mine inspired me to start living a cleaner life when I was pregnant with AJ. From laundry detergent to sunscreen, we really try to be as “clean” as we can be with the products we choose to put on our skin. This is exactly how I stumbled upon Farm Couture, and boy am I thankful I did just that!

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Farm Couture’s founder, entrepreneur, + esthetician, Cat Bennett. Cat started concocting up what is now my all-time FAVE + most effective face whip in her very own kitchen! Can we just take a moment to admit how badass that is? Cat and I discussed her love + passion for skincare, her entrepreneurial successes, and the challenges she scoots around when blending marriage, work + motherhood!

Cat, How did you get into this industry?

“As a New York esthetician for the past 17 years, I had worked for many global skincare companies and worked primarily for these brands in Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s New York, Henri Bendel and Nordstroms. I was always  super interested in ingredients and formulations and how they worked. On any given work day, I was surrounded by the intense fragrances in the majority of all the skincare counters I worked for, and knew that there was no reason or benefit to the skin with synthetic additives. I started reading any and all ingredient labels that I could find and narrowed in on some key ingredients that I personally saw improved the skin. I literally started mixing these hand picked ingredients in my kitchen and created my first prototype of my now FaceWhip moisturizer. I sent my formulations to a research and science lab, and they tested and perfected my products. I specifically didn’t create a big line of products, as I really wanted to focus of creating really high performing products and super high quality ingredients. “

What makes Farm Couture different than say… Beautycounter?

“My products are all individually made to order, as I don’t keep any inventory sitting on shelves. This enables all of my customers to receive truly fresh product that is hand packaged, labeled and shipped by myself. As a super small, one woman run company, I prefer the detail and attention that I can only create as a bespoke company.  Mass production was never something that interested me, as I prefer maintaining the intimate nature of the business. In addition to running Farm Couture, I also have two toddler boys and now reside in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  I’m super passionate about offering my facials and skincare services and travel every 2 months back to New York to see my established skincare clients. Life is busy but good!”

I am IN LOVE with the face whip. It’s my go-to all time favorite moisturizer. I know that Goat’s Milk in a key ingredient in the whip. Can you tell us a little more about why it’s so important?N

“Absolutely!

* Alpha Hydroxy Acids A natural exfoliant, removes dead skin cells allowing for renewing of new skin cells
*Vitamin C Reverses DNA damage and neutralizes free radicals
* Calcium Protects against dry skin and fine wrinkles
*Vitamin D Essential for skin cell growth, wound healing and maintains a healthy skin barrier
*Rich Butterfat Fills cracks in the skin and seals water in which hydrates and moisturizes skin
* Vitamin A & E Repairs and renews damaged skin tissue 
*Vitamins B6 & B12 which helps with acne issues, uneven skin, wrinkles and dryness.” 

Does the FaceWHIP need to be refrigerated because it has goat’s milk?

“No, the moisturizer is stable and designed to be stored just like any other cream:)”

What DON’T you put in your products?

“I don’t use any synthetic fragrances, perfumes, dyes, parabens or mineral oils.”

What makes the FaceWHIP a whip?

“Our trade secret is in mixing our small batches using our triple milled hand whipping process that combines our unique formula into a decadent creme and experience. It has a smooth consistency similar to fresh whipped cream.”

Anything else you’d like us to know about Farm Couture?

“I get asked a lot if my products are safe to use while pregnant and nursing. The answer is YES! As its all fragrance free and natural ingredients. I always recommend anyone who is pregnant or nursing to check with their doctor. Also, the face cream could also be used anywhere on the body as well as an eye cream! Somethine else to note, I always offer FREE SHIPPING and use a 2 day priority shipping USPS.” 

Where can we buy your products?

“Currently my products are exclusively sold online, but we are expanding to include retailers very soon!”

Any advice for momtrepreneur like yourself? How do you balance it all? Marriage, family, work?

“I would always say to be kinder to yourself. As hard as it can be, carve out some self care time for yourself and make it a property. Oh! And wine. Lots and lots of wine:)”

Thank you so much for chatting with me, Cat! You truly are such an inspiration!

For those of you who would like to purchase my #1 favorite face whip, use code RENEE40 for 40% off your entire purchase at www.farmcouture.com [offer ends April 25, 2019] Feeling lucky? I am hosting a #giveaway over on my Instagram! Click here to enter! Good luck!


A Day in the Life [Sleep Consultant]

SAHM (stay at home mom) life is pretty rad, and boy do I feel like one of the lucky ones who is fortunate enough to live it. When Ben was little, and I was going through a divorce, I worked A LOT. A few different jobs at a time. Waitressing, that full-time gig for the benefits, I even ran my own photography business on the weekends. Living on Martha’s Vineyard year-round was hard for me as a single mom. I was working 70+ hours a week, killing myself trying to make sure that my kiddo was happy. Going to the best of the best daycare. Enrolled in constant extracurricular activities. But with all that work, I didn’t have a ton of extra time to spend with him. Maybe a few hours each day if I was lucky, and the weekends that I wasn’t working. When you work all day away from home, you miss a lot. You miss some of those “firsts” and boy does that suck. So I get it – being away from your family all day. Working full time. Rushing to their t-ball game to coach or cheer from the sideline. Making easy-mac or a frozen pizza because now it’s late and it’s all you’ve really got time for. Then, the mad dash into the tub and off to bed. There’s definitely a struggle in finding that perfect work – life – balance. But you do it, and you do it all with love. And you do it all over again the next day.

I’ve worked my ass off as a single mom. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, also working my ass off [high-five single parents who NEVER get a sick day!] And now, I’m a work-from-home mom. Best of both worlds. I set my own hours. I book my own schedule. I am my own boss.

The past 4 years have been incredible – no complaints. My husband has been fully supportive of me staying home + raising the boys. I have never missed a doctors appointment, I have witnessed every fall. But on one income, you make sacrifices. Maybe you only take one vacation this year. You eat out less. You coupon clip (which I am oddly obsessed with doing, btw). I was “okay” with that. But to be honest, as great + wonderful it has been staying home, sporting athleisure wear, rocking’ a mom bun everyday, I still had this piece of me, sitting empty. Something was missing. And I realized, it was work. Bracy and I have toyed with the idea that maybe I should get back into real estate? Or perhaps I could go work as a spin instructor? I would love to revamp my photography business. I sell Beautycounter. I post on social media (#ad), I blog. I’ve done a lot, never really wanting to worry about the money. For me, personally, it’s more about what I’m doing. Does it fill my heart with joy? Does it inspire me? Am I making a difference? Work. Almost everyone does it. But do you love it? Does what you do make you happy? These are really important boxes that need to be checked in my life when I think about a career. I have always known that I hadn’t quite found that dream mom job. Until….

WeeSleep.

If you’ve been following my motherhood journey, you know all about WeeSleep. You know I have sung their praises since we first experienced the promised results as a client! Our time with them was life changing and I knew, right then and there, this was my calling. This was IT! And I had made the decision to become a Sleep Consultant. A decision that would forever change the meaning of my life.

I can’t even begin to express how rewarding this job is.

So let me tell you about my Monday [today is Saturday]. I made a cup of coffee while the boys [including my hubby] were still asleep. I checked-in on one of my current clients who had just wrapped up night 1 of the program. Now back-up…this mom pretty much laughed at me when I told her we would get her kiddo sleeping 10-12 hours a night, through the night, falling asleep on her own, and all in 10 days or less. She literally chuckled. No shame… I did the same. exact. thing. [Didn’t I, Janey:)] Anyway, let me tell you. This kiddo slept 12 hours straight NIGHT ONE, and has every night since! I wish you could have heard the switch in her tone after the first night. Mind you, this mama also slept her first full night in 3 years. She couldn’t believe it, but I could. I hear this with every single client of mine. That initial call – it’s chalked full of desperation. They sound defeated, exhausted. They question themselves, they wonder “where did I go wrong?” “Is this all my fault?” “I just don’t know what I’m doing and I feel so bad about it.” These are some of the things I hear from my mamas before we begin, and it breaks my heart. I wish that I could reach through the phone and hug them in that moment, but reassuring someone once they’ve reached this point is hard to do. By the time we hear from them, they are beyond any kind of verbal repair. They need to SEE the change – they need to feel it… and that’s where WeeSleep swoops in.

Working from the convenience of my own home, on my own couch, with my coffee in hand (sometimes wine, lets be real), has given me so much purpose. So much freedom. A sense of worth. I’m proud of the work I do with WeeSleep. It’s challenging, it’s rewarding, and I am truly honored and thankful for the families who put their trust in me. They let me change their lives, and for that, my ❤︎ is even more full than I could ever make it. Like I said, there’s definitely a struggle in finding that perfect work – life – balance… but I think I’ve finally nailed it.

The training…

Have you been thinking about maybe joining the WeeSleep Dream Team? I encourage anyone who is looking for something new in their work life – maybe you’re passionate about sleep. Maybe you’re a mama and is fascinated by the WeeSleep ways. Maybe you’re not finding joy in what you do now. Reach out. Hiring WeeSleep was life changing for our family in ways I couldn’t attach a dollar amount to. But now, working for them as a Sleep Consultant, that has been empowering.

Want to learn more?

As of today, there is still room in their next consultant training that will be taking place April 3rd – 5th! This training program is entirely virtual, personalized and interactive. You will learn from the best of the best, WeeSleep Founder + CEO, Janey Reilly. You will meet amazing women from all over the globe – not knowing those women would soon be your Sleep Sisters. Once you complete the course, you not only get the advice and knowledge during your continuing ed and mentorship, but there is an ENTIRE team of consultants behind you! The WeeSleep Dream Team is truly the greatest network of women supporting women, in a professional + personal setting combined. A sisterhood I never had. I feel lucky to have found this path, and I’m excited to see where it takes us!

Thanks for reading. Signing off loves. Have a fab day

Live Rested,

Renée

Are you a tired mama + want to learn more about how WeeSleep can help you? Reach out! I’d love to hear what’s going on and fill you in on what Wee can do for you – http://bit.ly/WeeSleepRenee

SWEET [dreams] GIVEAWAY

I never knew how tired I actually was until I got my very first FULL 8+ hours of uninterrupted sleep! Successful night one with the WeeSleep program was a major eye opener for me. As we all know, having kids requires sleep – minimal amounts but ya still need it. If you want anyone in your household operating at some sort of functional level – everyone will need it – including baby. Trust me, I know this. But howwww, do you ask? Well – let’s chat! LIVE on Instagram – this Friday [September 28th] at say…. 10am PST / 1pm eastern? Join me + @weesleep founder Janey Reilly for a LIVE Mamma Say Q+A! Let’s dish on alllllll the WeeSleep goods – The whats and the whos. How they changed our life + and all about the upcoming consultant training! I want to talk about my experience with WeeSleep + why I’ve made the decision to enroll in the consultant training. Janey will be offering up some FREE tips + advice that trust me – you DO NOT want to miss! Be sure to attend with a question or two and feel free to RSVP ahead of time for the Instagram LIVE event here!

Now – let’s chat about this incredible GIVEAWAY! To enter the WeeSleep Dreams Swag Bag Giveaway – keep an eye on my Instagram this week as I’ll be posting all the info before Friday! One lucky winner will be announced after the LIVE event so mark your calendar so you don’t forget!  [We are still filling the bag with amazing swag including the Speedy Sleep WeeSleep package [$250+ value] – and items from @SlouchHeadwear, @KOL_KID  ,@Beautycounter , @Gunapod @OyacoProductsBIG Love Ball to name a few [scroll down for pics!] Also – if you’re interested in contributing – please shoot me an e-mail asap!]  Check back soon mamas + we’ll see ya Friday!

Janey Reilly, CEO + Well Rested Founder

Renee Maynard, Wife + Momtrepreneur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY ITEMS

Mom… Boob

Hey guys – Hope you had a super rad weekend + and an even better start to the new week! I’m sitting here, nursing AJ, realizing I’ve got so much mommy stuff on my mind and what better place to share than on my blog. TMI warning for the rant sesh to follow – maybe you can relate, or maybe you cant. Either way – let me get this off my chest.

Extended nursing. Full-term breastfeeding. Whatever you’d like to label it – let’s actually talk about it.

As we all know, breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for at least one year, + the World Health Organization’s recommendation bumps that up to 2 — and both also suggest that moms continue for as long as they want and/or can, as mutually desired. Two key words there – Mutually. And desired.

Right now – I’m in a weird place and I get  it – it’s all about perspective. There are many days I look down at AJ while nursing and boy does it my melt my heart. I cherish these sweet little moments with him + full on realize I’ll never get these days back. However, on the flip side – there are just as many days where I find myself a little over it. I feel over touched. Over exposed. Overly annoyed. And on those days, I feel a little mommy guilt. AJ eats food like a champ + is only using my boobs at this point for comfort.  But thats what makes the weaning so much bigger of a challenge for us. Kids who suck their thumb – how do they stop? Jax was uber addicted to the binky but getting him to quit cold turkey was quite simple – we threw them all away and he never looked back. It was easy – easy enough. Sure there were days that were more emotional than others – but all in all – it was NBD. I can’t really remove my boobs to wean my child – so now what? When AJ falls and gets hurt, he needs boob. When he’s upset about something, he wants boob. When he’s tired, he wants boob. Boob, boob, boob – all day long it’s boob! There are moments of sweetness but maaaaaan there are times I literally wanna flip him the bird.

I’ve nursed all 3 of my boys for a combined total just shy of 4 years.  Ben nursed exclusively for 16 months. Jax for somewhere around 6, and AJ is still going strong at 23 months. So we’re talking 45 months and counting… Now look, trust me when I say I’m not for one second sitting here bragging about it. To be honest, I’m actually sitting here contemplating how in the effing world am I going to stop.

So how do I do this? I have tried pretty much everything. Going away for a night. Vinegar on the nips. And I get it – people say “just stop giving it to him”. That all sounds great and all but it’s just not that easy and what happens when we finally do stop? Am I going to wish that we didn’t? Gah! I recently had a massage at The Pro Club  and while I was there, I shared with my PT about the conflicting thoughts I had been having regarding weaning AJ.  Listen mamas – this has to be one of the most genius ideas I have heard to date. Here is her story… She started nursing her LO [who I believe was 2+] in the same chair and only that chair, every single day. It became the “nursing chair”. And one day, when the time had come, her husband removed the chair from the room. Poof. Gone. When the LO woke up to nurse, mama said “Oh no! Our nursing chair is gone! It looks like the nursing days are now over.” And that was that. No more chair, no more boob. Seriously how genius is this? AJ definitely associates our couch with nursing – so I can definitely see how this could work. She also recommended using frozen green cabbage leaves to alleviate any pressure + to dry up the production of milk. Now I have never tried either one of these techniques – but I just might so I’ll keep ya posted.

My AJ is a pretty special little dude. Ever since we used WeeSleep’s gentle sleep training to get him completly off the nighttime nursing regimen + into his own bed, he’s really changed a lot – in the best of ways. He trusts himself. He knows what he can handle and he goes for it. He’s confident + I love that about him. But are those the characteristics of an LO who might actually do better in a child-lead weaning scenario? And if weaning is actually a developmental milestone, should I wait until he’s ready? Do you see it? I’m literally a huge emotional ball of conflicting emotions.  Do I believe when AJ’s ready to be done, he will be? I think so.  I guess the real question is, can I wait that long?

Thanks for letting me vent + stay tuned for the outcome:)

Side note // Mamas – whether you decide to nurse your babe for 1 second, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or 1 year – you’re still a badass – you birthed a baby. Breastfeeding is certainly not for everyone, but if you can, give it a whirl. There are endless options when it comes to the support one needs to successfully nurse your LO – I’ll link a few below. Which resources have you or do you plan to utilize? And also – would you share your story with me in the comment section below? How long did you nurse + how / when / why did you stop?

x

Renee

 

Le Leche League USA

KellyMom.com

Breastfeeding Basics

Breastfeeding Moms Unite [FB]

 

Did you say ‘safer’ beauty?

Beautycounter products smell amazing + I personally can vouch that the products legitimately work. But did you know that Beautycounter products are safer? Yes SAFER! A word I have never, ever, EVER used to describe a moisturizer or a shampoo. Did you know that 80% of ingredients in personal care products have never been tested for safety yet they are still allowed to be in our everyday products? 1,400 ingredients are banned in Europe, 600 in Canada – Guess how many are banned in the US? 30. Yeah. Barf.

So my friends over at Beautycounter have committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what is legally required in the United States. Their Never List™ is made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that they will never use as ingredients in any of their products. Do I have your attention? Good:)

I bet you’ve never thought twice about what you put on your skin… ammiright? Yeah, well you’re not the only one.  I used to shop shampoos, lotions, deodorants, + even detergents based on SCENT alone! Knowing what I know now makes me wanna vom.

Now let’s back up 2 years.  I went for a hike with a girlfriend who started chatting all this stuff about Beautycounter + their mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone, and  that in the absence of government regulations, we define safety ourselves. I was upfront and honest out the gate:: “My skin is uber sensitive to any and everything new that I try, so if you’re trying to sell me product, I’m out”.  But she was adamant that I try the stuff.  A week goes by, & there she is at my door with a giant bag of goodies! Shampoo, conditioner, bronzer, blush, lip gloss, face wash, creams, stuff for the babies, etc. She said, “Just try it for a week and then give it all back when you’re done. Have fun!”

Hesitant, yet curious, I began to untwist every cap, giving each and every bottle the ol’ smell test.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Every bottle that I opened had this amazingly clean, fresh, lemongrassy, citrusy scent.  I thought, okay whatever, it smells nice, but surely it won’t pass the breakout test.  Thinking nothing could possibly be better than the Neutrogena face wash I’ve used since the 9th grade. You guys – I tried it all. Every lotion, every cream, every wash, every scrub.  Instantly, after just one use of a handful of products, my face looked and felt amazing. Truth:: the softest + the cleanest it’s felt in over a decade. Or at least since I’ve started having babies. Now keep in mind, I continued to use these products religiously and exclusively throughout my trial period. After each use, I noticed my skin looking more youthful, dewy… and radiant. [A look I have only seen on beauty blogs + Instagram accounts, btw] Fast forward a week… not a single breakout.  The texts started coming in from my friend… “Hey girl! Mind if I swing by and pickup the beauty bag?”.  Long pause.  Like a 2 hour pause.  I finally respond “Hi love! Do you mind if I keep this stuff for a few more days? I didn’t have enough time to try everything out yet.” (and what I meant by that is… Haha yeah right. I love this stuff and I do NOT want to give it back….like ever) Another few days go by. Guys:: I’m HOOKED.  I sadly packed up the bag, placed it on the front porch, and texted “It’s ready for pickup.  Thank you for letting me try Beautycounter.”  I’m bummed now b/c I have to find a way to tell my husband how much $ I’m about to drop on Beautycounter as I ditch all my current crap in the garbage.  Switching to safer never felt better, especially feeling confident in knowing that the products actually work!

So below I’m going to list my Friday FIVE Faves including the pros + cons of each item.

No.1 Cleansing Balm

Why I literally love it – this balm does it all. It’s a cleanser, a moisturizer, a make-up remover, an overnight mask + a highlighter. Yeah. It’s pretty much the most incredible thing I have ever put on my face.

The eh’s – the initial price was a tad high for me [$80] BUT one jar has lasted me well over a year so….. do that math:)

 

 

 

No.2 Balancing + Charcoal Facial Mask

Why I love it – This charcoal mask makes my face feel like a baby’s bum. My skin is always super soft + my pores literally shrink to almost nothing after use. The mask is made with nutrient-rich kaolin clay which deeply cleanses and balances, minimizing the appearance of pores while giving your skin a smooth, refined appearance. I like to spray the mask, once it’s dried, with the Balancing Facial Mist to sort of reactive the mask effects + benefits.

The eh’s – This stuff really does work its way deep into your pores so a little light scrubbing during the removal is for sure needed to ensure super clean looking pores.

 

No.3 Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer

Why I love – If the sun is out, I’m right out there in it. This tinted moisturizer offers a simple sheer coverage, a luminous dewy glowy finish, and it’s super-charged with SPF20 protection. It also includes black currant, peony flower root extract, and vitamin C to enhance skin brightness and sodium hyaluronate to promote firmer, smoother-looking skin.

The eh’s – it really does only offer a very light, sheer coverage. So if you’re looking for something a little thicker, this tinted moisturizer is not for you. The better option would be Beautycounter’s Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation which has amazing coverage + is super hydrating – minus the SPF bonus.

No.4  Countermatch Pure Calm Cleansing Milk

Why I love – This is the most moisturizing cleanser I’ve ever used. Typically cleansers leave my face very dry + tight, screaming for a moisturizer like a-sap. Not this one. It also strips my mascara without removing my false lashes!

The eh’s – I don’t actually have one for this product

 

 

 

No.5 Sugar Scrub in Lemongrass

Why I love – In the past, I could always do without the body scrubs. As a mom of 3 boys, I don’t even have time to say the word “shower” before my 2x a week rituals are over BUT, now that I have this stuff, I can’t imagine a shower without it. The smell is INCREDIBLE – the feeling it leaves, the look of your skin afterwards – it’s seriously the best. Safe to use of preggo bellies + apparently it’s also safe to “ingest”, although not recommended:) I exfoliate my lips with the lemongrass scrub and I may or may not lick a little off. I mean, it’s just sugar after all, right? Ha! JK

The eh’s – B/c my husband uses this stuff DAILY, we go through it pretty quickly.

So there you have it you guys! Like I said, I am a consultant so if you are on the hunt for a new eye cream or maybe looking to swap your products for safer, let me know and I’d love to take you on the Safer Beauty journey with me.

x

Renee

www.beautycounter.com/reneemaynard