8 Things That Kept Me From Losing My Damn Mind in 2018

Hey Hey Hey! So to date, we have talked about babies, divorce, dating, Disney...but we haven't really talked about the fun stuff. ME! What I love and what makes my world go round.

Every year I find a few products, whether they are for my business or personal use, that just make my life sooo much easier.  Let's talk about em'!

1. Remington Flat Iron S5500: When I say it is EVERYTHING...hunny, it is life. And not only is it amazing, it's inexpensive! Y'all, I have super coarse hair. What you see in photos is not an accurate representation of how BIG my hair really is...LOL. It takes me an hour and a half just to blow dry and straighten my hair because it is so thick. I had previously used a CHI, I also have a PAUL MITCHELL, as well as a Baby Bliss.

My boys and I took a small weekend trip last fall and what do you know, after 16 years my CHI decided she had had enough. I had no other flat irons packed. Shit. I had to have one, so I went to a local Kmart determined to get something thin and cheap. My goal was to make it thru the weekend. I walk in and spot it immediately, a $25 Remington, marked down to $12.99...YES PLEASE! The next morning, I unwrapped my little friend with pretty much no expectations. Plugged it in and started the battle of taming my mane. Holy shit! This thing reached 410 degrees and my hair was like SILK. You guys, I don't even use my name brand flat irons any more. This straightener cuts my flat iron time down by about 20 minutes because I am only going over each section of hair once or twice versus three times. It is amazing and I can't recommend it enough. Even if you have other straighteners, at this price I say get this one too and hold on to it as a backup. Ya just never know. 


2. Vintage High Waist SwimsuitOkay Mamas, if you're anything like me, you dread bikini shopping. This year I decided not to worry about it as much and just purchase what was visually appealing. That being said, I know my body well and I know what looks good on me. High waist is always best. Mama has curves and booty that she has accepted, but lawd have mercy this kangaroo pouch...ugh. I saw a friend's Instagram post from a family vacation and spotted this bikini.  I knew I had to have it. The only negative is that shipping took a little over a week, but the product itself did not disappoint. It was a durable fabric, it's slimming, and it is stylish. Best swimsuit ever!

3. Hanza Makeup Brush Kit: Let's talk about makeup! I can’t  say that I am a makeup snob but I do like nice products. My makeup bag has everything from Younique, to ColourPop, to Fenty, to NARS. But one thing I can't bring myself to spend alot of money on is brushes. On top of that, I'm just gonna be real flippin honest, there's too may different types and I don't know how to use them! LOL. I am loyal to beauty blenders, those little beasts are so easy and inexpensive, so I don't mind to buy plenty....brushes tho, meh.

But, I did find a  set that I adore and makes application quick and easy! For brushes that won't break your bank, I highly recommend these bad boys.

4. Honeybook: ATTENTION ALL BOSS LADIES, where are you? This one is for YOU! I have had a wedding planning and wedding education business since 2014. I signed up for Honeybook in 2016 and it has made my professional life a breeze. Prior to using Honeybook, I would send invoice and PDF contracts via PayPal. This meant meeting up with clients to make sure that they signed the contract, sending awkward text messages to clients reminding them to pay me, having to manually keep up with business finances, write out contracts and packages, etc. Honeybook swooped in and did all that for me. I pay $20 a month for this program, it comes preloaded with contracts specific to your field of work and you can modify them to meet your specific business needs. There is also an integrated system within that allows clients to sign their contracts electronically and submit a payment immediately. When the payment due date is close, they will be emailed reminders and will be emailed daily until the payment is received. Let's talk money management, OMG, it is amazing. I can log in and look and  see exactly how much money is due my way and how much money I've made so far. Another cool feature is that it allows you to link up with other businesses in your area. So if you are a florist and your client/bride needs a planner, you can send out a blast to all of the planners in the area with the details about what it is that you/your client is seeking, and they can respond. I actually just booked my first wedding via this tool last week and I'm super excited about it. So yes hunny, if you are Mama trying to maintain a real life while also maintaining your business, do yourself a favor and sign up for this site! (Use the links in this post to a receive 50% discount on your first year of services). You will thank me later! 

5. Freezer Bags and Packing CubesMy family goes to Disney annually. I believe my boys were 1.5 years old and 6 months old at the time of their first trip. If you have a baby or multiple babies, you know that they have alot of shit and it's tiny. Packing for them was a task that I did not look forward to completing....until we came up with a system. Freezer bags. Yep, that's what I said, plastic zip locked freezer bags. Let me explain...Each bag is labeled with either the day of the week or the name of the park that we would be attending. In each bag I would pack an outfit for each child, underwear (back then it was diapers) for each child, socks for each child, and if you have a girl you'd pack the accessories for each child. So each bag would have both of my children's clothing for the day. This eliminates having small clothes loose in a suitcase and it makes unpacking in the hotel easier. Most hotels don't have enough space to unpack everyone's clothing, so if you had to leave your kiddos clothing in the suitcases, you are able to grab the assigned bag for the day and get going. On average I pack my kids two outfits per day and I label each freezer bag by the day of the week or park and whether it's the day time or night time outfit. Once the outfit is worn, I toss it in a dirty clothes drawer and throw the bag away. I don’t usually bring the bags back home. 

 We fell in love with this practice, so much so that I have since started packing my clothes in packing cubes for vacations. Again, it just makes for a more organized packing and unpacking system and keeps me from OVER PACKING, as us women so often do. :) 

6. "Modest Lingerie"In February of 2018, I worked with one of my favorite local photographers as a brand ambassador for her Boudoir Photography business. Being an ambassador meant that I had to wear lingerie. Side note, I had done boudoir photos with her about a year prior to our most recent session,  but was so uncomfortable with my body, I ended up taking those photos in a sweater and knee high socks. As an ambassador, I had to wear lingerie and I had to find something that I would be comfortable in. My problem area is my kangaroo pouch and I wanted that hidden. That felt like an impossible task. On top of the comfort issue, lingerie can be EXPENSIVE. I searched Victoria's Secret but couldn't bring myself to pay $80 for a set that I would never wear again. I actually ended up searching "modest lingerie" on Amazon and this beauty popped up. It was perfect. Sexy but still reserved and I felt extremely comfortable. When the photos came back, several women reached out to me and asked me about the set. I was so proud to say that I had only paid $16 for it. I looked bad ass and I didn't have to break the bank to do it. 

7. PopSockets: These little trinkets are a LIFESAVER. Especially if you work from your phone on a regular basis. I have an iPhone 8 Plus that I use constantly for social and professional reasons. The phone is so wide that it doesn't allow my fingers to easily access all areas of the screen while holding it with one hand. I know this may seem like a “first world problem”, but most of us navigate our phones with our thumbs and if your hand is too small or your phone is too big, it can become very difficult. The PopSocket is button/grip that sticks to the back of your phone with pretty much the strongest adhesive shit I've ever seen. It allows you to grip the socket rather than the phone, freeing up your fingers for swiping right and closing deals😉. It also doubles as a stand so that you can prop your phone up on a sturdy surface aka when you're in a restaurant and your kid is about to flip his shit for YouTube time. Y'all know exactly what I'm talking about. Getchu one!

8. My Black Kate SpadeOh my gosh ladies. I love Kate Spade and her tragic death in June shook me to my core. I love this brand and have loved it for years. To me a Kate Spade represents class, timelessness, fierce determination...pretty much the qualities that I aspire to have. If you haven't read it already, please check out my piece "Carry a Kate Spade", it better explains what this brand means to me. 

Last September I was gifted a Kate Spade from a client/friend. It is simple and black and I wear the strap around my body like it's a badge of honor (Boy Mom problems). We are approaching a year together and she has been my consistent bag for all of that year. She is still in great shape. She is still strong. She is still sturdy and reliable. I can meet clients and look stylish but she is also heavy enough to carry my iPad, notepads, hot wheel toys, lip gloss, phone charger, etc. She is incredible. This bag is normally priced at $379.00 and Amazon has it for $162.84. Ladies this is a steal. Treat yo self! You deserve it. 

So that's a little bit about me and the things that have made my life easier this year. Check back monthly for more of my favorite goodies!

Tiara FowlerComment