The Birth of Elias Jude Cross

Emily Bledsoe Photography

(Emily Bledsoe Photography)

At 10 pm on the 6th of March I started having some mild contractions, they were about 10 minutes apart but stopped on their own at 11 pm. So I went to sleep not thinking much of it, I had experienced some false labor pains earlier that week and had been having inconsistent contractions on and off for the entire month. I was only 37 weeks along. I felt like I’d most likely go early, but at the same time I didn’t want to get my hopes too high and was also convinced I’d go the full 40 weeks or longer.

At 4:23 am I woke up to losing part of my mucus plug, and called my mom just to let her know, but wasn’t sure if it meant I was officially going into labor or not. I had read that you can lose your mucus plug anywhere from a couple hours to 3 weeks before real labor. So again, I didn’t want to get my hopes up if I had a long next couple of weeks ahead of me.

Justin decided to still go into work, and I went back to bed to get as much sleep as I could before Luca would be up.

At around 10 am my mom and Liv (my sister) came over. My contractions were about an hour apart by that point. We got some things ready and hung out for awhile, and then my mom eventually went back home taking Luca with her, since it didn’t seem like I was progressing too rapidly.

Liv and I worked on getting the rest of everything ready and played some PS4 games while we waited for things to pick up.

Eventually my contractions started getting closer and closer together, and when they hit the 15 minute mark we decided to get the birthing pool ready. We filled it about half way with regular hose water, and then started boiling pots of water to dump into it to bring the temperature up.

We called my mom again around 2 pm to come back, as my contractions were starting to be about 10 minutes apart. I had taken some herbal tincture (black and blue cohosh) to make my contractions more consistent, and around 3 pm they were starting to become about 7-8 minutes apart.

That’s when I called Justin and told him he should start heading home ASAP. Thankfully he was able to finish work, and made it home about 4 pm. I then took another dose of the herbal tincture, and it really got things going. (The cool thing about this tincture is it won’t progress labor unless your already in true labor).

My contractions were becoming more and more intense, and I labored through most of them on the birthing ball with Liv and Justin giving me counter pressure on my back/hips when I felt I needed it.

Eventually they really started to intensify, so I got in the pool to help myself relax and get some relief. My contractions were about 4-3 minutes apart by then. Every time I’d feel a new wave coming, Justin would press against my lower back and hips until they would pass while Liv and my mom would coach me to stay as relaxed as possible and to keep my voice low while I worked through the contractions.

I eventually moved to the bed and labored some more trying different positions.

Liv and my mom coached me to try a squatting position so gravity would do its thing, and help things along. But by that time I was already getting tired and had trouble even standing up, I felt weak, and was in quite a bit of pain.

I ended up getting back into the pool, and was able to sit more in a squatting position, and that’s when things really started progressing. My water never broke all at once, but was more of a slow trickle. I’m assuming the baby’s head was blocking it from all coming out at once.

I had transition labor for about 2 hours, but it felt way longer. Every time I started to get discouraged and felt like I wasn’t progressing Liv, Mom, and Justin encouraged me and told me I was doing great and he was coming.

Eventually Justin got in pool with me, and I ended up leaning my back against his chest and he’d give counter pressure as Liv would push against my knees every contraction. I still didn’t feel like the baby was coming.

With everyone’s help I was able to get in a better upright squatting position, and tried pushing a few times to see if anything would happen. But the third push, I could feel the baby moving down quickly. I pushed twice more as hard as I could, and finally my sweet baby was born, into his daddy’s arms.

I rested against the side of the pool while Justin held our little boy, and Liv and my mom got blankets to wrap the baby. He was born at 10:12 pm on March 7th.

He weighed 6.8 lbs at birth, and by his one week checkup he was over 7 lbs. 😍 I had absolutely no tearing.

He’s been nursing very well in spite of having a tongue and lip tie, and is so so healthy and perfect. 💙

Emily Bledsoe Photography

(Emily Bledsoe Photography)

His birth was everything I prayed and hoped for. I wish my first birth could’ve been this way, but I’m so happy that my second was exactly how God intended birth to be. 💙

Emily Bledsoe Photography

(Emily Bledsoe Photography)

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Green Tea Enzyme Powder Wash by Wishtrend

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my post and brief review on Wishtrend’s Green Tea Enzyme Powder Wash.

I wanted to write a more in-depth review on here, and really focus on the benefits of the ingredients.

This is specifically made for all skin types, which is a plus. It hydrates the skin while controlling blackheads, and is made to not pull skin or cause irritation while cleansing. Which is great for sensitive skin!

So lets get into the benefits of the key ingredients!

The main ingredient is of course, Green Tea, which is a powerful antioxident as is full of vitamins A, C, & E.

Vitamin A encourages healthy skin cell production, it stimulates the cells that develop tissue that keep the skin firm and healthy.

Vitamin C has antioxidant properties, which help to fight against free radicals. Which in turn helps to fight against aging skin.

Vitamin E also helps block free radicals, it can also reduce the visibility of scars, reduce the signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots.

Green Tea also is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer.

This face wash also contains baking soda, which is a great exfoliant. It also helps to neutralize chemicals that can cause skin irritation. It also helps to fight against blackheads, cleanse pores, and helps improve acne-prone skin.

The next key ingredient is Papain, it helps renew the skin as well as lighten it. It’s also a natural exfoliant, skin softener, moisturizer, and helps fight acne. It also helps the body to fight free radicals, thus again, preventing aging.

And the last key ingredient is Amino acid surfactants,

“A weakly acidic surfactant derived from coconut. Great skin-affinity and excellent moisture retention.
Low irritant and has excellent moisturizing effect, without creating much foam.” – (Taken from the Wishtrend website).

To use this product you pour a decent amount of powder into your hand, and add a little bit of water until you get the amount of lather you’d like. If you have thin sensitive skin, the website recommends not to use more than 2-3 times a week.

I really did enjoy this face wash, it left my skin feeling the smoothest it’s ever felt from a face wash, super refreshed, and clean!

Favorite Loose Curl Hairstyle

I got a lot of requests to incorporate more hairstyle tutorials into my social media, so here’s my very first attempt!

I’ve used Remington’s 1/2-1″ curling wand for years, and have always loved it! (I’ve gone through quite a few of their hair straighteners over the years, and they’ve always been great quality and some of my favorites.)

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(Stock Photo)

I like to section my hair into 8 or 12 sections (depending on how tight/loose I want my curls), and then apply heat for 30 seconds per section.

I like to put the thicker part of the barrel close to the top of my head, so my curls don’t get too crazy at the top.

A post shared by Cass | Est. 1996 (@cassielelis) on I always make sure to use heat protectant spray on my hair when using any sort of heat tool, in my video above I use TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Leave In Spray, I don’t have a favorite heat spray, and usually get a new brand every time I run out just to see if I can find one I absolutely love.

After applying the heat spray, I gently brush through the section I’m about to curl.

After curling my whole head, I let my curls set and cool for a few minutes, and then gently brush them apart, to give that loose wavy look.

You can even apply some hairspray after you’re done curling if you want some extra help holding those curls in. But my hair personally holds curl really well, and I usually like my hair best on day 3 of this hairstyle, when the curls have had time to relax a bit. It looks more like beachy waves by then.

Remington does sell a large barrel curling wand, which I’ve been looking into, that would probably take this look to a whole new level. I’m going to try to get one in the next week or so! And might make an updated video/tutorial, or even do a review on what I think about it!

I hope you guys found this tutorial helpful!

Let me know if you ever try to recreate it, and make sure to tag me on IG if you share it! (Tag me @CassieLelis)

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Favorite Brushes Friday: Oval Brushes!

I don’t use my oval brushes on my daily routine, but every once in awhile I’ll mix things up a little bit and I remember I actually love my oval brushes!

I bought the Mikasa 4 oval brush set, and I also bought a cheaper 5 brush set which I like, but the Miksasa set is definitely higher quality. The cheaper set just bends too much, and it’s hard to apply pressure properly.

I use the biggest brush from the Mikasa set to apply my liquid foundation, it applies it so evenly and well! The bristles are so dense that it doesn’t absorb too much product and distributes it evenly leaving a smooth finish.

The next size brush I like to use to blend my cream contour, it smooths product so well and leaves such a nice airbrush look!

The next brush, I like to use to apply my contour. It’s precise and easy to control since it’s so thin. You can even use this brush to apply mascara, and it actually applies really full, evenly, and well! I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it.

The last brush in the set, I like to use to clean up around my brows after drawing them in, and around the edges after applying eyeshadow. I also like to use it to apply highlight to my brow bone, and to the inner corner of my eye. I’ve even seen people use it to apply their eyeshadow!

I love how versatile this set is, and how you can easily use the brushes for whatever you’d prefer the most! They’re sturdy, good quality, and easy to clean. 😊

use my link when shopping! http://www.mikasabeauty.com#oid=41387_1464

*I am apart of Mikasa Beauty’s affiliate program, but this post was not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

 

My Brow Routine | ABH Dipbrow Pomade

Hey everyone! I’ve gotten quite a few requests on a brow tutorial, and it’s been a minute since I’ve done an updated version.

I thought I’d go a little bit more in depth this time around, and just filmed a short tutorial to really show you guys my technique. This is just what works well for me, so you might need to tweak it a little bit to work for you!

I originally used e.l.f.’s duo brush, which is a great affordable alternative! I’m pretty sure it’s only about $5 at your local Target!

But I just recently bought an ABH duo brush 7B, and I can really tell a difference when it comes to precision and quality. The bristles are just a lot denser, and it’s easier to get sharper looking brows with this brush.

I just bought a new pot of the dipbrow a well, I had a little left in my old pot, but it wasn’t nearly as creamy as it originally was. Although I’ve heard you can revive it using baby oil, I only had a liquid moisturizer available (or olive oil), which definitely worked well enough until I could get some more.

Products I used:

ABH 7B Duo Brush
ABH Dipbrow Pomade
Rimmel London Perfect Match Concealer

I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Don’t forget to like and subscribe to my channel, and follow my blog for updates! 💙

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Maybelline Total Temptation Line | Influenster VoxBox Goodies!

Hey everyone, I hope your 2018 is kicking off to a good year! What are some new years resolutions you’ve decided to try this year? Let me know in the comments!

The other day I received a VoxBox from Influenster containing the new Maybelline Total Temptation line, and I’m TOTALLY in love with it!

I got 3 amazing new products from Maybelline (complimentary of Influenster) in this VoxBox, and I can’t wait to share them with you!!

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The first was a their new Total Temptation Brow Definer, which I’m absolutely loving! I don’t think it’d replace my every day brow routine that I currently use, but it’s nice to switch it up a little bit. And this product is perfect for trying to achieve more natural looking brows! It’s easy to use, and easy to define your brows. You can keep it natural, or easily make them more bold! It’s also SUPER affordable, and a little product goes a long way.

(You can purchase this at your local Walmart, Target, Ulta Beauty, etc.)

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The next product I got was their Total Temptation Mascara.

What I really like about this mascara, is how build-able it is. If you’re going for a more natural look to match natural looking brows, you can just apply a sweep or two, But if you’re going for a more bold look, you can easily apply multiple layers of this mascara to make your eyelashes really pop! The brush is pretty decent and isn’t too pipe cleanery for me (I hate huge pipe cleaner style mascara brushes). I do believe they have a waterproof version of this mascara as well!

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And the last product I got in this VoxBox was the new Total Temptation Eyeshadow & Highlight Palette!

I LOVE the colors that are in this palette, and both the highlighters work well! This palette works for pretty much any skin tone, and has a good range warm and cool pigmented shadows. Most of them are shimmery, but there are a couple mattes as well!

The formula in my opinion is great quality for the price, and it applied well to my lid! I went with a more natural look using these products. (let me know what you think in the comments!).

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Overall! I’d give the brow definer an 7/10, the Mascara an 8/10, and the palette and 9/10! I can’t wait to try some more looks with the palette, and hopefully I’ll be able to get a video of me using the products up pretty soon. So keep you eyes peeled!!

(You can find all these products at your local Walmart, Target, or Ulta Beauty.)

Links to products:

Total Temptation Brow Definer

Total Temptation Mascara

Total Temptation Eyeshadow & Highlight Palette

2018!

So far, 2018 has been pretty hard… and we’re only 4 days in!

My little boy ended up getting sick right after Christmas and all the way through to New Years. He’s still coughing and has a bit of a runny nose, but seems to be improving with each day!

(My little sick croaky singer. 😍😭)

Me on the other hand… I’m officially 28 weeks preggo, and all the stress of the holidays, dealing with a sick toddler, and being uncomfortable during pregnancy has finally caught up to me. I’ve been down and out for the past few days… I’m hoping by tomorrow I’ll be feeling completely better!

So yeah, my 2018 started off pretty rough! But, I’m still really optimistic and hoping to make this year an amazing one!

I’ve decided to revamp my blog, by embedding my videos directly into my posts, and being more consistent with product reviews. I also want to try and post makeup tutorials using pictures as examples and to show what I’m doing, rather than purely using videos.

I’m not making any promises though, pregnancy and momming has totally been kicking my butt! And as much as I’d like to say I know I’ll for sure be able to keep up with a blog, and two kids… I’m not going to kid myself. (no pun intended).

So! Here’s to a new year! And hopefully a fruitful one with beauty blogging and whatnot. ❤