Blog update finish! What now?

Well, I finally did it. Once Upon This Hook’s update is finished!

So what’s next?

I promised you that you could see some new content when the blog was back and now it’s time to deliver on that.

Starting next month you can expect to see a new post every other Thursday! These posts will be part of this my #ThrowbackThursday series which will include reviews I previously had on my other blog before I opted to close it.

You may see some other new content pop up every now and then before the end of the year too. Perhaps you may see a new free crochet pattern round-up (or a couple) later this year. 😉

Hope you like the blog’s new look and hope you all had a fantastic summer!

#ThrowbackThursday: Let It Snow VoxBox: Influenster (2018)

*I never did get around to writing a post for this Influenster VoxBox, so this post can technically be considered new content.*

Last year I received I was selected to receive Influenster’s Let it Snow VoxBox filled with complimentary products for me to try out. To be honest, this was the only VoxBox that just honestly wasn’t really a great fit for me, overall. So I was a bit disappointed.

  • 2 BarkBox toys
  • Gold Bond Ultimate Cracked Skin Relief cream
  • Masque Bar Black Gold Peel Off Mask
  • Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo

I couldn’t really use the BarkBox toys but I was able to use The Grinch toy for a little photo shoot with my Guinea pigs. I also never did end up trying out the dry shampoo. I’ve tried dry shampoo in the past and it just isn’t a product for me.

I did like the Gold Bond cream and the peel off mask. I was satisfied with both of these products.

While I was disappointed with this VoxBox, I do have to mention that this is a rare case because I have been happy with all the other boxes of products sent to me in the past. And they have sent me more than a few. And, like I mentioned earlier, these products just weren’t a good fit for me.

*I received the above products completely free from Influenster for review purposes. The above stated opinions are my own.*

#ThrowbackThursday: Hellmann’s Tartar Sauce and Natural Fabric Softener Sheets (June 2018)

June of 2018 I was lucky to be sent a couple of free products from Influenster and Generation Good to try out and review. It had been a few months since I was sent anything to test (not including PINCHme samples) so I was pretty excited about these opportunities.

Hellmann’s Tartar Sauce

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Influenster sent me a free product of Hellmann’s Tartar Sauce to try out. I’ve been a big fan of tartar sauce so I was really excited about trying out this new product from Hellmann’s. The only expectation for this new tarter sauce was hoping it would be good.

I’m not a really picky person but I wasn’t too pleased with this bottle for this tartar sauce. It wasn’t as easy to squirt out as other similar bottles and I was afraid it was going to go places it wasn’t intended to go. I wasn’t too comfortable with using the bottle.

But what about the taste? Well, I used this tartar sauce to make a tuna fish salad sandwich. It didn’t really have as strong of a dill taste to it as I like to have in my tartar sauce. I would recommend this product to those who aren’t really a big fan of dill pickles.

Seventh Generation Natural Fabric Softener Sheets

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Living a more environmentally friendly something I try to do as much as I can so this opportunity to try out Seventh Generation’s Fabric Softener Sheets from Generation Good was something I was really hoping to have some positive results with.

These paper sheets were easy to use. You split the sheets in half and then throw both into the dryer. The lavender scent was quite potent on the sheets but, unfortunately, that scent didn’t really stick to my clothes… even after adding an extra sheet. Which was disappointing but these sheets did soften my laundry so I wouldn’t say these are a fail.

Despite not being fully pleased with this product, I would be interested in using these sheets to soften my laundry but I would probably just go something without a scent since it kind of seems a waste to have a sheet with a scent when it doesn’t really cling to the clothes. I would still recommend these to anyone trying to live more environmentally friendly if they are okay with these not giving their laundry an extra scent boost.

**I received the above products for free to try out for review purposes, however, the above reviews reflect my honest opinions of my experiences with the above products.**

Meet Little Miss Melody LeAnne: A Birth Story

She’s here! My little Melody LeAnne is finally here!

Remember how last time (when I was still pregnant) how I had said everything was going well with my pregnancy? Well, at my 38 week appointment that changed.

When I went in for my 38 week appointment for a growth scan we were given some surprising news: She wasn’t growing as much as she should, only within the 12th percentile is what the ultrasound tech told us. And then my doctor comes in and drops the bombshell: we need to think about inducing labor… next week.

My fiance and I were both taken back with this news. After some discussion, the doctor said we could probably wait until I was 40 weeks as long as we came back and had another scan done and if that scan looked good. Which, fortunately, it did.

So there it was. She was coming very soon. We scheduled the start of my inducement for the day before my actual due date. My fiance and I had a mix of emotions going on. On one hand, we were excited that we were going to be meeting her very soon, but we were also concerned about the Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)- would she be okay?

Her Birth

Tuesday, October 29th was inducement day (the start of it). We came in that afternoon and the cervidil was placed to help soften my cervix.

Around midnight I was cut off from eating and was started on antibiotics for GBS. I then decided to rest as much as I could. A few times the nurse would have to come in to tell me to change positions because of a drop in my baby girl’s heart rate.

At 9 am I was started on pitocin. Around 12 pm is when were given the news: we’re not going to be able to continue to induce labor further. Baby isn’t handling the contractions as well as she should so we’ll have to deliver by c-section. We weren’t surprised by this point because I had already started being prepped some. I had even already talked to the anesthesiologist about my options.

Having a c-section is something I was afraid of. And this was mostly because I had never had surgery done before. The whole thought of someone cutting into me bothered me.

It seemed to a lot of the team that I was very calm about what was going on but truth was I was just too tired to put up any sort of fight. So I just accepted the situation for what it was. My fiance did know that I wasn’t as okay with it as I was acting, and even knew it was because of me being so tired.

I ended up getting a spinal block. The c-section went well. I didn’t feel a thing except at the end I did feel some pressure from the doctor getting the placenta & baby out. I did end up tearing up a little bit; it bothered me that this was the way my daughter was being brought into the world.

Induction and C-section definitely were not in my birth plan at all. But the funny thing is, despite my plan being completely thrown out the window, I am at peace with how everything went. Plus, I pretty much expected that there was a good chance I would end up having a c-section when was told needed to be induced.

And I don’t feel like the making a birth plan was a waste because it really did mentally prepare for me for what potentially could happen. Also, the most important thing was making sure baby was born healthy.

Today both baby & I are doing great. I’m healing well from the c-section and I don’t even need any of my prescribed pain medication anymore.

Having a baby at home, and having limits on what I can do at home due to having a c-section,has definitely been an adjustment. My fiance being able to take two weeks off has been a HUGE help that I am grateful for him being able to do.

But his time off has come to an end and now it’s time to start our new normal life with our little Melody.

I’ll work on the blog when I can, but I don’t anticipate being able to do much for the rest of year.

Thank you for taking the time to read my birth story and I wish you all the best for the rest of 2019.

#ThrowbackThursday: L’Oreal EverPure VoxBox (2018)

New year, new Influenster VoxBox!

Late January of 2018 I was sent complimentary EverPure Blonde Shampoo & Conditioner to try out (and review). To be honest, I was kind of disappointed that I was sent these particular products from EverPure, I really would have preferred something different. While I do have blonde hair — strawberry-blonde to be specific — I don’t this product was really a good fit for me. Why? I have no concerns about brassiness or fading.

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Despite me feeling like this product was a great fit, I don’t really have complaints about the performance of the product. Both the shampoo and conditioner has a nice scent, kind of cologne-like, but nice. The shampoo’s scent is a bit stronger, more than I would have preferred. And I did notice a difference in the color of my hair, but I actually prefer the look brassiness gives my hair. So, as I mentioned earlier, not really the product for me but I would be interested in trying out other EverPure products.

**I received free products of EverPure Shampoo and Conditioner for review purposes but my opinions are my own.**

#ThrowbackThursday: Feast VoxBox and First Unilever Crowdkit (November 2017)

Feast VoxBox

November or 2017 I was fortunate to receive another VoxBox from Influenster (my fifth one that year)! And this was another one filled with multiple products to try out. And the best of all, it was a food related VoxBox! I received a pack of Arnott’s TimTam biscuits, French’s Crispy Fried Onions, a coupon for a free Country Crock’s buttery sticks pack, Del Monte Fresh Cut Golden Corn, and 2 varieties of Bigelow Teas.

I honestly enjoyed everything in this voxbox. My two favorite products from this voxbox are the TimTam biscuits and the Bigelow teas. The TimTam biscuits were delicious (& a bit addictive) and both Bigelow teas were delightful. The Del Monte Corn tasted a little bit more fresh than regular canned corn I’ve tried in the past and the Country Crock Salted Buttery sticks paired nicely with it. I also enjoyed trying out French’s Crispy Jalepenos. I used the crispy jalapenos as a topping to some taco rice which added a nice touch of crunch and extra kick.

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Unilever Crowdtap Crowdkit

In addition to receiving the Feast VoxBox from Influenster, I also received an Unilever Crowdkit from Crowdtap last November. I enjoyed trying out all of these goodies! The Nexxus shampoo & conditioners were my favorite products! I noticed the biggest difference with these products. My hair was so much easier to brush through. Dove antiperspirant/deodorant in the scent Fresh was nice. I was unsure if I would like this scent but was pleasantly surprised to find that it smelled very nice. The two products I were disappointed with was Dove Clinical Protection because I found that it didn’t perform well at all. And, while the Pond’s MoistureClean Towelettes did well at removing my makeup, it also managed to irritate my skin some.

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** I received all the above products from Influenster and Crowdtap for free in exchange for an honest review.**

#ThrowbackThursday: Influenster 14 Day Revitalift Challenge (2017)

During the summer of 2017 I was chosen to participate in the L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Challenge. I was sent a free product of Revitalift from Influenster to try out in exchange for an honest review.

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The Revitalift Challenge was for me to use Revitalift Triple Power Moisturizer day and night for 14 days to see if I noticed a difference. I have been quite blessed with some good genes in my family so my age didn’t really start showing until last few years. I remember my fellow college students being shocked when I revealed that my real age was a bit older than they thought I was. In recent years my skin has started looking a little less youthful so I was excited about being chosen for this Revitalift challenge.

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Revitalift Challenge: Day 1
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Revitalift Challenge: Day 7
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Revitalift Challenge: Day 14

The smell of Revitalift is little bit on the perfume-y side but I still found it to be a nice smell. But did I notice I difference? I actually did! And I think it can be noticed in the above photos (despite them being in different angles)! At the end of the 14 day challenge I had smoother, more youthful looking skin AND I noticed my little frown line had faded a little bit as well.

I am quite pleased with results of my Revitalift Challenge and I plan on adding Revitalift into my daily regimen of skin care.

Do you use any Revitalift products or any anti-aging products?

A Blessed Pregnancy

As I get closer and closer to my due date (just a few weeks away), I look back on my pregnancy journey and realize how blessed my experience has been.

I’m 37 weeks and while there are already other pregnant moms who are so ready to be done with being pregnant, I am still relatively comfortable. Yes, I can’t wait to meet my baby girl, but it’s not from discomfort of pregnancy.

I’m not saying there are absolutely no discomfort, because I do have some. But my discomforts are relatively minor to what other women have experienced. So I don’t want to rush to birthing my baby yet.

I have a great OB/GYN who I feel very comfortable with and it looks like the odds of having her being the doctor there for the delivery is looking very good.

So it’s easy to look back and reflect on my experience and feel so blessed. I hope my birthing experience turns out to be just as much as positive experience as my pregnancy journey has been.