How I Planned My Entire Wedding in 17 Days

As we are approaching our one year anniversary next month, I have had a decent amount of time to process and ponder our special day!

I have also had an alarming amount of questions as to how I pulled it off.

Because, yes,

I planned our entire wedding in SEVENTEEN DAYS.

(As a side note, I was also in my third-trimester of pregnancy. Yeah. Let that sink in a little bit!)

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So, let’s start out at the beginning.

I have known for a long, long time that Dakota and I would end up getting married! On our first date, we both talked about how important our families were. As our relationship grew, I knew that we both wanted marriage in the future. People might not know this, but about five months before we found out I was pregnant, Dakota took me up on a mountain and confessed his devotion and commitment to me, and that one day he would marry me.

So, even with the pressures of a pregnancy and then moving into a new home together, I was never really stressed about us getting married. I knew it would happen, and that we loved each other. I wanted Dakota to ask me when he wanted to. I see girls in relationships constantly drilling their significant others about a proposal and a ring… and that just wasn’t my style. We were happy. I knew we would one day get married. And I was content with waiting until whenever that was!

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It was worth the wait, because on September 4th, 2016 Dakota planned a beautiful proposal in the state where we both were born- Arizona. It was honestly right out of a fairytale. I’ll never forget how genuine, sweet, and thought-out it was.

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We talked about when we wanted to get married, and we settled on October of 2017. I mean, I would have enough time to “plan”, right? Certainly I would have to wait until I got my “body back” after baby, too.

Right?

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The morning of the day he proposed! I had no idea it was coming! ❤

Well, four days later, on September 8th, we reached an insane decision. Why not get married in 17 days? And not just get married, but actually have a wedding!

(I will let the record show that I tried to convince Dakota in eloping! He was not for it, and wanted a wedding where all our family could attend!)

We made the decision to get married so soon for a few reasons.

After thinking about it, we realized it would mean a lot to us to be able to bring our daughter into the world as one family unit. I wanted to share the same last name with my baby and my husband. Oh, yeah, and I wanted to be able to curse at my HUSBAND on delivery day! (ha ha) We also realized that planning a wedding AFTER we had our baby, would be very difficult- and today, I am SO grateful I realized that! It was also essentially the end of an era- the end of just us TWO. And what a way to end it then with a wedding!

Ah, bless our young, romantic hearts.

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Before I get into the nitty-gritty, I want to heed with a warning. When planning a wedding so quickly, there are obviously going to be some sacrifices you will have to make.

My whole life, I dreamed of a bridal shower- as odd as that sounds. I remember going to bridal showers for relatives and family friends, even as a young child. It was such a fun, beautiful memory. A woman before her big day- being honored and celebrated. Gifts JUST for her. And not regular gifts like socks or books- no, beautiful lacy, pretty gifts. Money. “Wife” Gifts. It was just such a fun, up-beat atmosphere. (and later working in the lingerie retail industry for two years, I had developed a love of all things lacy and pretty!) So, as unusual and petty as it may sound, growing up, I looked forward to a bridal shower almost as much as I looked forward to my future wedding!

With our time and circumstances, I never had one.

We also didn’t have

Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties,

a Wedding Registry,

or even a real honeymoon. (Dakota later expressed to me that growing up he always looked forward to “The Big Send Off” and anticipated, adventurous honeymoon with his new wife.)

So, yes, you will make sacrifices and you very well might end up with a wedding that will differ from the one you grew up dreaming about. But, again, we knew that, and we chose that. And the wedding we ended up with, was perfect for us! I don’t mention these details to be negative, simply to be realistic. You will need to prioritize, because honestly, you won’t be able to do EVERYthing.

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Ashley Meagan Photography

SO…. How did I do it?

17 days is already a short amount of time, but while I was doing this I was also STILL working two jobs. I think I looked it over and only had two full days off during this time period! HAHA! YIKES. I remember in between phone calls at the office, I had about 47 tabs open on my computer with wedding planning taking place. I utilized every waking second that I had.

Another obstacle we faced was budget. I didn’t have endless funds, so on top of rushing things, I also had to manage to DIY a lot as well.

I Did My Own Wedding Flowers!

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I researched a few online stores, and ended up going with Fifty Flowers. Fifty Flowers is an online wholesale flower shop.

I will add, that I have NEVER, ever, in the history of EVER done anything like this before!

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But, I was able to find a lot of useful tips and tricks on their website, as well as finding additional blogs and of course, Pinterest. I spent a total of $370.45 for my wedding flowers- centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres! Which, is INCREDIBLE! (By the way, if you are ordering ANYTHING online, EVER, always google coupon codes before you submit! This is one of my life lessons!) Also, I put my order in about ten days before our wedding, and they were delivered 2 days before the wedding! So it is very possible to do in a rush!

I did keep my flowers to a minimum- they were certainly not the focus of my wedding. But, they were beautiful, and I don’t regret my choice one bit!

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The trick with bulk, online flowers, is that they will deliver them to you before they have fully bloomed. Then, you get to steep them in water 1-2 days, and THEN trim and arrange them.

(TIP- You will end up plucking wilted petals away from the buds, a job a florist typically does, but I kept all the petals and ended up using them for the Flower Girls to toss!)

I did end up finishing the bouquets THE NIGHT before the wedding, with a lot of amazing help from my bridal crew! So, helping hands is a huge plus!

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PS- Spray Paint & Mason Jars were my best friends!
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Luckily, my husband was a team-player!

I Kept It Personal

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It was really important to me to have some personal details in our wedding! The board in the above picture was actually another “DIY” that Dakota and I did.

We went to Home Depot, cut and stained the wood, and then went to a Vinyl Store in our mall and customized it! It turned out so pretty and is something I plan on keeping for a long time!

I also took full advantage of the talented shops at Etsy and had some cute gifts made for our guests. IMG_1747

When using Etsy on a time-crunch, I highly recommend reaching out to the shop before you order! Let them know the date you NEED the items by, and find out if they will be able to accommodate that. With some purchases, I did need to pay for ‘Rush Processing”, but it was worth it to get these last-minute touches!

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This is YOUR wedding, and even rushed, it is and should be personal to you and your S/O.

I Got Married On A Sunday Morning

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Ok, this is pretty self-explanatory, but I learned a lot in doing this!

If you want your wedding to be held at a Venue, and you don’t have a lot of time, consider doing yours on a Sunday! Not only will the availability be greater and sooner, most likely it will also be a lot more affordable. Our Venue Planner showed us the price difference after we had already decided on a Sunday, and WOW!

Also, you’re still having your wedding on a weekend, so out-of-town guests will have a good chance of being able to come- even on short notice.

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I Stayed Organized

 

I cannot express my gratitude enough for the FREE tools I used to keep everything on track.

Mainly, I used the Budgeter and Checklist tools from The Knot.

I couldn’t have pulled it off with these! Since I was my own wedding planner, I had to keep everything on track and on budget by myself! Even if you have all the time in the world, I would recommend using this site or one similar to it.

I Used Local, Small Resources

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I overheard a co-worker mention that she had a small hobby of making cakes, and I jumped on it.

“What are you doing next Sunday?”

No Joke! Keep your ears open! I get that the wedding cake may be really important to some couples, but it was not important enough to Dakota and I to shell out a month’s rent on one. I had a really simple design to begin with, which of course helped. We saved a TON by finding someone to make ours versus finding a wedding bakery to make ours! Also, big-time wedding resources might be less flexible on time restraints.

And, the internet can be an incredible resource! I utilized local Facebook Yardsale and Wedding Pages. You cannot believe the amount of people that have leftover wedding decor and are willing to part with it for pennies on the dollar!

You may also get wildly lucky like me, and have someone let you borrow their Wedding Arch for free! (Shout out to Chelsie!)

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I Didn’t Forget What A Wedding is All About

Ok.

So, if you haven’t had your own wedding yet, I hate to be the one to break this to you… but weddings are stressful.

Which is a sad irony, because it’s supposed to be a very blissful time in your life!

So, squeezing all the stress and tension of a wedding in a meer 17 days can be EXTREMELY hazardous to your mental health… and maybe even your relationship.

That being said, my husband and I had to remind ourselves WHY we were doing this. Getting married is about celebrating and honoring the special devotion that Dakota and I have for one another.

We were about to stand in front of our loved ones and promise our undying love to each other- to support each other, to be true to each other, and to enter a sacred commitment to one another.

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I get that dresses and appetizers and table cloth colors are a part of the deal, but the reason we were doing ANY of this, was to make those incredible vows to each other.

Dakota kept me grounded in the wedding prep, and reminded me of this. So even when things went wrong (Because, SURPRISE, they always do!) it didn’t matter!

And after going through it all, our ceremony was the most amazing experience. We both talked later about it, and decided we really didn’t care about the reception once we said our vows! We were content! The floor could have caved in, and we still would have been floating on that “just-married” feeling.

It doesn’t matter if you plan your wedding in two days or two years- don’t forget the reason you are having a wedding after all.

Because the flowers will eventually die, and people will forget what our cake tasted like, but our marriage is forever.

XOXO,

Ruth Lee

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Summer Glow Face Routine (& Free Foundation Brush!)

In case you missed it…

I started a new YouTube channel for the Ruth Lee Diary!

You can check out my first video HERE!

In this blog post, I am going to go a little more into detail on this video!

And if you’re ready to get your FREE Mieoko Kabuki Brush (A $24 value! Just pay shipping!) Click HERE!

Step One: Fresh Face

It makes sense, right? You want to have the best possible canvas for your make-up. There is no sense in spending money on quality make-up products, if you abuse your skin! This year, one of my goals was to really focus on baby-ing my skin.

I really recommend the brand OleHenriksen for skin products! If you’re not sure where to start, look into the Three Little Wonders set here.

It includes:

– 1 oz/ 30 mL Truth Serum
– 1 oz/ 30 mL Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer
– 1 oz/ 30 mL Invigorating Night Transformation Gel

Together, I noticed a HUGE difference in my skin’s brightness, firmness, and smoothness! I also adore the Power Peel system from OleHenriksen if you are looking for an at-home facial with impressive results!

And, the obvious but often forgotten: don’t sleep in your make-up.

Listen, I hear you. I used to be, unfortunately, notorious at breaking this rule. I try and keep a pack of facial wipes near my nightstand in case of emergencies! In worst case scenarios, this is by far better than nothing!

OK, now that we have the basics down, let’s continue!

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Step Two: Foundation

In this particular video, I am using Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation.

TIP: If you notice, the color is quite a bit different than my face’s skin color in the video. That is because… I spray tan. When you spray tan, your face is often the first place that your tan fades from! I like to keep several shades on hand, because honestly, I never know what color is going to match best! This shade is really tan, but it best matched my freshly-sprayed body. And even for people who naturally get more tan in the Summer, your foundation shade will change!

As I say in the video, I like to apply the foundation on my face in five spots- on my forehead, on my chin, on each cheek, and on my nose. A little goes a long way; especially if you have a quality foundation AND foundation brush. I always like to find cheaper make-up products when I can, however, foundation is one that I think is OK to splurge on.

Make-up brushes- now those can get expensive! In my personal collection, I have a varying degree of costs for my brushes! If you’ve looked, then you know. It can get ridiculous! So, I am here to ease the burden of the insanity!

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I saw an ad for a Free Kabuki brush (just pay shipping) and I figured it was worth a shot! I paid a few dollars, and to my great surprise, I received my brush a couple of days later!

It’s called the Mieoko Kabuki Brush, and at the time I am writing this blog, you can get yours for FREE as well, click here!!

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I am not sure how long this will go on, so I would probably recommend doing this sooner than later!

Anyways, I was really surprised by the quality of this brush. It is a flat-top brush with really high density bristles. This is perfect for medium to heavy coverage- and with the right application, you will get really pretty, flawless and EVEN coverage!

In the video you will be able to see how I “buff” the foundation- these means using really precise and circular motions of the brush to blend the foundation into my skin.

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Step Three: Cream Contour

For the past few months, I have been falling in love with the Graftobian HD Glamour Creme Super Palette in Cool. This has a pretty hefty price tag, but for good reason. I have yet to encounter another creme palette that has such an incredible combination of blendability and pigmentation. If you are a MUA, you need this! I actually found out they use this exact palette on TV and Movie sets, and I can see why. If you can’t fork out the money for the whole palette, they also have smaller palettes on their website! Again, I really love to find drugstore products, but if you are looking for a quality and lasting product for your make-up kit, here you go!

In the video, I showed you where I put my light shades for the contour (I use the lightest shade in my kit, buff)- Under my eyes, on my forehead, on my chin, the bridge of my nose, and a little on my upper lip.

To apply this particular formula, I prefer to use my fingers. It is just really precise, and the warmth of your fingertips will allow a really smooth transition from palette to face. Then, I blend it with the Mieoko Kabuki Brush. (I love this brush for blending my contour!)

For the dark shades, I use a combination of Butterscotch and Auburn. I apply this on the outside of my forehead, my cheek bones, on each side of the bridge of my nose, and a little to accent my chin.

LOCK that contour in with some of favorite magic powder- Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. You can’t go wrong with this stuff, folks! It leaves your skin matte and perfected. By the way, this formula is flashback free, which means your selfies will not suffer!

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Step Four: DRAMA

To amp up the contour, and also assist in a more seamless look, I have a few tips. I apply bronzer as you normally would- accenting the places on your face where the sun would naturally shine on you. Your cheeks, nose, forehead. I use Urban Decay’s Beached Bronzer. This is a really nice shade, and doesn’t have any glitter or shine to it.

I also like to touch up with a little powder contour. Que one of my favorite drugstore products- e.l.f. contour palette. I love this because we are just accenting the creme contour, so you really don’t need to over-do it with an expensive powder palette. This one works beautifully for me! Just lightly go over the dark contour that you did previously with the creme palette!

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Step Five: HIGHLIGHT, YASSSS!

I can’t even begin to express how the act of highlighting my face has genuinely changed my life. For real! I go from tired, flat, yaaaawn momma to unicorn-fairy-princess momma!

The beauty of highlight is that you are allowed to go as natural or as YAS-QUEEN as you want! So, don’t be afraid!

I show you my love of Marc Jacob’s Coconut Dew Drops Gel Highlight in my video. I have also swatched this on my Instagram if you need to see how dreamy it is! You can achieve the most natural of glows with this product, or build it up for more glow! It is a breeze to blend! Oh, and yes, it smells like heavenly coconut. Need I say more?

Also, where you choose to highlight is totally up to you! The tops of your cheeks are pretty key! I also like to dust the bridge of my nose, a little on my forehead, and again, a little on my upper lip!

OK and real talk, if I was left on a deserted island and had only one make-up item with me, I would choose Diorskin Nude Air Luminizing Powder.

I am 100% in love with this product. I can’t express how passionately I feel about this. It is the epitome of perfection. If words like: radiant, luminous, iridescent, and glowing are how you want to describe your face- BUY THIS. NOW. I top off my highlight with this and that’s it. There’s nothing else you could add to your face to top this. You’re done!

This is definitely not my “every-day” face routine, but if you want a really pretty, glowy, and contoured look for the Summer- this is it.

If you pretties have any questions, ASK ME!

Thank you so much for supporting me and my blog and NOW my YouTube Channel! ❤

xoxox,

Ruth Lee

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I Was Robbed.

I was robbed.

Money was not taken, nor materialistic things. And it was not a human that stole from me.

But, I was robbed.

My happiness, my motivation, the early days with my new baby, my relationship, my energy, my feelings of safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11-20% of women who give birth each year have postpartum depression. That means, in the United States alone, there are about 600,000 new women each year who struggle with this.

In fact, more women will suffer from postpartum depression and related illnesses in a year than the COMBINED new cases for men and women of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, lupus, and epilepsy.

Oh, and by the way, these statistics are based purely on reported cases, and we all know there are far more unreported.

And yet, there is still such a heavy stigma of shame and unacceptable. WHY?

And what’s worse, only about 15% of women with postpartum depression ever receive professional help.

Here’s why this matters. Research shows that women who remain untreated for PPD are less able to bond with their children, let alone care for themselves. They are prone to “self-medicate” with alcohol or drugs. And, they may end up with lifelong chronic depression or anxiety. And by the way, this isn’t just affecting these women. It’s affecting their families, too.

Here’s the reality. When I found out I was pregnant, the absolute furthest thing from my mind was learning about PPD. No one I personally knew had ever talked about this with me. I never knew anyone who experienced this (or so I thought).

I know it’s a broken record, but for those who may not know, I will give you a little background. My pregnancy was a complete surprise. And although the situation wasn’t “ideal”, I was very, VERY blessed to have been surrounded with love and support. I also had an incredible man by my side, and easily our daughter is the best thing that could have happened to us.

I loved my pregnancy. People often talk about their love of the 2nd Trimester, and I fully support that. I felt so beautiful! I loved having a bump, and feeling my baby move. I was also mentally AMAZING. My relationship with my husband had never been stronger. I worked THREE jobs, and completed a semester of University. I created a nursery, kept a clean house, and read baby books constantly. I also got engaged, planned a wedding, and got married when I was 8.5 months pregnant! I love the person I was when I was pregnant. Of course, it wasn’t all easy, and the last few weeks of my pregnancy seemed like a lifetime, but it’s true what they say. You blink, and it’s over.

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Going in to my labor, I really had worked on trusting my body. Saying and thinking positive mantras. Believing that I could bring my baby here safely. I researched a lot of information, dragged my husband to classes, and using natural supplements to “prime” my body for labor. I was young and healthy, my baby was healthy, I felt empowered. I felt strong.

That all shattered when the nurses told me that my baby’s heart rate was dropping when we arrived at the hospital. I felt betrayed by my own body. I honestly felt that the baby I loved and had cared for these past nine months could now die while entrapped inside me; I was terrified. I was sent into L&D and placed on Pitocin immediately.

You’ve probably heard this story from me already, so I’ll skip to the end. After almost laboring for close to 24 hours, I ended up with a C-Section. I believe that I never dilated past a seven and a half, and my baby was essentially in the pushing position, so she was stuck. And my body failed me. Well, that’s how I saw it, anyways.

Unless you’ve been through it yourself, I think a lot of people are unable to truly sympathize with the feelings surrounding this circumstance. But, a lot of women go through it. A lot of women face a C-Section and have difficult feelings towards it. And that’s why I talk about it. Because, when you are going through it, you feel very, very alone. It’s hard to end up with a perfect baby and somehow have feelings of trauma and sadness. There are plenty of women who lose their babies, so how ungrateful of you to feel this way. In all honesty, you are allowed to feel however you feel. And those around you should learn to accept that and understand. But, also, you need to understand that it is hard for your loved ones to know what to say or do. I’ll touch on that a bit later.

My husband got a new job right before the birth of our daughter, which was a great opportunity, and I was so proud of him. However, it required a lot of hours and he essentially had one day off of work after I had my daughter. I was in the hospital for four days.

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Most probably aren’t super familiar with what happens during a C-Section, so I’ll brief you on it. Your arms are stretched out on boards so that your veins are easily accessible. They stretch a blue cloth up right past your shoulders. The operating room is purposely kept extremely cold- to keep the doctors and nurses from sweating and reduce the risk of sweat contaminating the operative field. I remember being insanely cold during my operation. They piled layers of blankets on me, but it didn’t really do anything. I shook the entire time.

Once an incision is made into the first layer of your skin, the doctor cuts through all the layers of fat and then through a thick layer called the fascia. Then, another layer is cut called the peritoneum, this is the sac that holds all your organs. Your bladder sits right on top of the uterus, and has to be moved so that the doctor can cut into the uterus. Once the doctor has a clear view of the uterus, it is cut into and the amniotic sac is ruptured. From here, the baby can be pulled out and is officially born! At this time, most moms are able to hold and meet their baby, and get to be carried away together after Mom gets stitched up. Because my baby and labor had so many complications, she was immediately taken into the NICU before I got to hold her. She had to get her lungs sucked out, and checked out by the specialist team. Again, this was really hard for me to process later on.

The reason I am telling you all this, is really to educate others. Cesareans are a major surgery, as you can probably comprehend by how many internal incision are made and later sewn up. In my case, my recovery was particularly difficult because my body had labored for so long before my surgery. The first few days were really, really hard. Even with the best medicine in the world, I was in immense amounts of pain. I remained in bed the majority of my stay in the hospital. Even sitting up literally made me feel like my incision would burst open in searing pain. Anytime I wanted to hold my baby, I had to ask someone to help me. I couldn’t stand up and change her diapers. There were 24 hours in which she had to remain in an incubator for Jaundice. And on top of that, my husband did have to leave us for work. I hope with me sharing this, maybe you can understand where my feelings stand.

Coming home was hard, too. Like I said, my husband had to work, so I was left alone sometimes for 12 hours or more a day. It took me AT LEAST six weeks to feel somewhat normal again- as in being able to walk or sit up without pain. I also couldn’t drive during this time. So, I developed a lot of emotions during this period. My baby, in all honesty, was perfect. She was such a good baby. And I definitely developed a bond with her. However, it was a lot different than I imagined. It was a lot harder than I imagined. A lot of days, the most I could do was simply keep us two alive. I think probably the first week I survived on nothing more than protein shakes. It was tough.

One of the biggest points I want to make here, is that I didn’t know how to ask for help. And from here, my PPD really developed. And I knew it was bad because it got worse even after I physically healed. I remember previously just wishing for the day that I could walk and take care of my baby. And then, oddly enough, I was physically healed, but my mentality was broken.

A lot of people think PPD, or depression in general, is just someone crying a lot or feeling sad. I honestly never really knew what it was… Until it was happening to me.

The biggest emotions I experienced were an utter lack of motivation for anything. I woke up, took care of the baby, and when she slept, I laid in bed. (But rarely slept). I didn’t take care of myself. Most days I didn’t shower and my eating was really, really rare. I had a lot of postpartum bleeding, and had to stay in diapers for over four weeks. People would call me or text me and I would ignore it.  Our house was a disaster. My husband would come home from a long, long day at work, and we would have no food. I developed a serious anxiety about leaving the house. I was terrified of even going to the grocery store. It was really hard on my husband to see me like this, and he really couldn’t understand why it was happening. And I, I couldn’t explain it.

I mean, it sounds so simple. I would sit there often and be so confused about why I felt this way. I mean, I could just snap out of it? Force my way through this? And I tried, I tried to “bring myself out of it”, but you guys, what I didn’t know, is that you can’t. Because I sought a lot of answers on this, I have spent a lot of time researching this topic. I want to share something with you. And I wish, I wish SO bad that someone would have shared this with me.

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You guys, I have researched and found many, many images similar to the one above. And they all share the same thing. Depression, true, prolonged depression (also referred to as MDD or major depressive disorder) is an actual brain disease. And please note, this is different than being upset about something in your day or feeling disappointed about something.

Depression affects three major areas of the brain- the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. I won’t go in-depth here, but essentially issues here lead to disturbed sleep and activities, irregular hormones and chemicals in your body, negative effects on your emotional responses, decision making issues, memory problems… it goes on.

I hear so many moms realize they may be dealing with PPD (or anyone with depression), and still be so afraid to say anything to their doctors or even talk about it with their loved ones. It is the equivalent (literally) of having a brain disorder, and feeling that it’s your fault, and that you can just “snap out of it”.

And that adds to the difficulty of living with a mental disorder. You don’t understand it. You can’t fix it on your own. It’s hard to explain it to those around you. You feel immense amounts of guilt about it. It is constant. You can’t call your boss and say, “Hey, my depression and anxiety are really bad today and I can’t make it into work.”

If you’re dealing with depression, or someone you love is, or you simply want to understand, I highly recommend watching the TED talk by Kevin Breel. He. Is. Amazing. Check this out. I will quote this part because he expresses this idea so perfectly,

 “That’s the stigma, because, unfortunately, we live in a world where if you break your arm, everyone runs over to sign your cast, but if you tell people you’re depressed, everyone runs the other way. That’s the stigma. We are so, so, so accepting of any body part breaking down, other than our brains. And that’s ignorance. That’s pure ignorance. And that ignorance has created a world that doesn’t understand depression, that doesn’t understand mental health. And that’s ironic to me because depression is one of the best-documented problems we have in the world, yet it’s one of the least discussed.”

You guys, I was robbed.

I wasted a lot of days in the beginning of my baby’s life not truly being the woman and mother that I can be. I spent a lot of time just wasting hours in bed. I spent a lot of time living in fear. I spent a lot of time avoiding others. And I also spent a lot of time blaming myself, or avoiding treatment. I have spent a lot of time feeling hopelessly alone, and not understanding why.

And if you personally have never gone through this, I am tremendously happy for you. Seriously. Because it is incredibly terrible and life-wrecking, and hard on you and those around you. But I beg, if you haven’t gone through it, please be sensitive to those that have/are.

I saw this on Pinterest, and knew that I needed to add it to this blog post. It is so, SO important.

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It’s a cruel injustice that when you are suffering, you feel alone, and overall this resorts to those around you avoiding you even more. If you think someone around you is dealing with this, be accepting of their feelings and give them gentle opportunities to open up to you.

PPD is not a choice. So, do not talk to someone as if it is. As if someone would choose to endure the misery that is depression. It’s all too often that we may hear, “You have so many great things in life! Why would you be depressed?” And that certainly does more harm than good. It creates blame and increases guilt on this individual, which, you guessed it, is not going to help ANYONE with depression.

Someone with depression doesn’t need shame or to be told that they are weak. No one really understands what someone else is going through. Two individuals could go through very similar events, and end up with very different mentalities or life changes. Because you were able to conquer life’s challenges without developing a serious form of depression (again, seriously, that is amazing and we are all happy for you) does not give you permission to put down anyone who is different.

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I personally felt a lot of shame and guilt once I had taken my SSRI’s for a few months. I mean, I was 6 months PP. I’m sure I should be “over” it, right? I didn’t really talk about it with anyone, because, again, #Stigma. So, I just decided one day that I wouldn’t continue my SSRI treatment. I was “fine”.

Please, please, please don’t do what I did. What followed, unknowingly, easily led to one of the most difficult times in my Postpartum journey. My relationship struggled. My energy was entirely gone. My motivation to do most things had zeroed out. I retreated to ignoring people once again, and wishing I could just lock the door in my room and never come out. My relationship with my child suffered. Again, I was robbed. But this time, I should have known better.

I am seven and a half months postpartum and I am still seeking treatment for my depression and anxiety. That may make some of you embarrassed for me or make you feel uncomfortable, but, it’s the truth. Postpartum depression does not have an expiration date. I also know many women who don’t really develop it until several months or even a year after they gave birth. Pay attention to your body. And not only that, but be accepting if you know that you need help.

Being aware and educated in my own struggles has brought me a great amount of peace and also sympathy towards others. I really, truly wish that this article helps even one person. If that’s with seeking treatment for yourself, helping someone you love, or simply being aware.

J.K. Rowling said it best, “I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s there to be ashamed of? I went through a really hard tough time and I’m quite proud I got out of that.”

Thanks for reading this novel. If you have any questions or need someone to listen, you can always DM me on my Instagram @baybayruth (I try my best to read everything!) If you are suffering with this, please, please know that you absolutely not alone.

Much love,

Ruth

UnBoxing Zala Hair Extensions

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Let’s talk hair.

I would consider myself some type of hair extension connoisseur. Since my first set at age 18, I have tried just about everything (Bellami, Luxy Hair, Foxy Locks, Tape in Hair, etc.)… Clip In Hair Extensions are my go-to! I love the versatility that is possible with clip ins. You don’t have to have them in 24/7. There are also tricks to get them into ponytails, buns, and braids- which is easier than other types of more permanent extensions.

I initially heard about the Zala Hair company FOREVER ago, and finally just pulled the plug and purchased a set from them.

Zala is a hair company based out of Australia. http://www.zalacliphairextensions.com.au/

Their Clip In line currently ranges from 16″ to 30″. They also offer tape in extensions! It always makes me nervous to order internationally, however I received my extensions one week from the day I ordered them, so- pretty quick! It even arrived one day earlier than the tracking estimated.

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Here is what I received in my parcel! The Clip In Range booklet was really cute and includes care tips, before & afters, color range, install how-to, and more! I think this would be REALLY helpful if this was the first time you bought extensions!

They also included a free matte lipstick, which was a nice surprise! I haven’t tried it yet, but it was a cute touch.

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I ordered the 100& Remy 24″ inch 5 Piece 130g set in the shade Ice Queen Platinum Blonde #60.

It is the lightest blonde that Zala offers, featuring an ashy tone. Zala has lots of pictures and videos to help you find extensions that will match your hair! And they also offer a color matching service on their website!

**ALSO, I ALWAYS look for coupon codes before I buy ANYTHING! I found coupon codes on instagram before I bought, which saved me a couple bucks! I highly recommend you do the same!

I have not toned the hair at all; however, I plan to. It doesn’t exactly match my hair yet, and because this is 100% Human hair, you can dye/tone it. Although I highly recommend BABYING your hair extensions, and doing as little as possible to them!

 

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Here are my feelings from the initial un-boxing;

I LOVE this hair. 24″ is the LONGEST hair I have ever had. So, I feel like a mermaid-fairy-princess. I’m obsessed! The hair quality feels amazing. It is super soft! To find BLONDE hair extensions that feel this great, is essentially like striking gold. So, I am very happy.

The shade was really great in my opinion. I will have to tone the hair, but I think it will be fairly simple to get them how I want them.  (And I expected to tone them from the get-go.) Most brands that offer a platinum blonde typically feature a strong YELLOW tone, and these did not have that! So that is a plus in my book.

MY ONLY CON is that this set is not enough hair, volume-wise. I bought the smaller gram 5 piece set in hope that it would be enough. It was a risk and honestly, I was doubtful it would be enough from the start. I was HOPING though, because my goal was to save money! (I paid a total of $149.30 SHIPPED with my coupon code, which is AWESOME for this hair.)

It doesn’t look bad necessarily, but I really prefer a look with more volume. So, I plan on investing in additional grams from Zala, so I can complete the look that I want!

Thanks for reading,

XX,

Ruth.

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