Flesh Wounds | Cover Art Statement

Blog, Graphic Design, Portfolio

This month, I had the opportunity to work with Hip-Hop artist, Kid Candor to put together the cover art for his upcoming EP, Flesh Wounds. The concept for this piece was a simpler, cleaner design that resonated with the sentiments found throughout his EP.

You can catch Kid Candor on iTunes, Apple Music, Pandora, and more on June 17th.

Flesh Wounds | Kid Candor

 

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Cover Art By: Ashley Concepcion, 2017

Kid Candor beautifully portrays his authentic emotions while using poetic lyricism to convey formidable moments of his life. A genuine heart displayed so eloquently for the world to be strikingly impacted by. I hope you take the chance to listen to his EP and experience Kid Candor’s work for yourselves.

Make sure to download his EP on June 17, 2017 and visit his artist page: Kid Candor to follow all future projects.

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You can also find his collective group that I had the pleasure of photographing earlier this year, here: Chess Players & Poets

To view the photography session I had with Kid Candor specifically, visit my portfolio or head over to: Kid Candor | CPP  and take a look!

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Thank you for visiting Untamed Rose Blog. For Inquiries on artwork, photography, or my shop, feel free to contact me by email or head on over to my Contact Me page and get in touch. I appreciate the support. -URB

 

A Prisoner In Paradise | Cover Art Statement

Artwork, Blog, Graphic Design

This month, I had the wonderful opportunity to create the EP album cover art for Cuban Hip-Hop Artist – Castañeda. This project took about a week to come to fruition while diligently working with my client to make sure his message was perfectly portrayed. I couldn’t be prouder of this piece and the end result. In this post I provide my artist statement to explain the vision behind this art piece and the symbolic statements displayed throughout the cover.

You can catch Castañeda’s EP on iTunes, Apple Music, Pandora, and more on May 20th.

A Prisoner In Paradise | Castañeda 

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Cover Art By: Ashley Concepcion, 2017

The Trogon is Cuba’s national bird and as it proudly bares the colors of our beloved flag, I felt it represented everything that embodies Cubans as a whole. Using the trogon symbolically is meant to represent a Cuban longing for freedom as it’s imprisoned in the darkness when in reality they are truly meant to be free. By caging the trogon it represents the reality that so many Cubans face today, loss of freedom.  The darkness that surrounds the trogon and the cool tones featured are systematically meant to represent the death and despair that surrounds the lives of Cubans around the world and the solitude political prisoners experiences for being advocates of freedom. All of this, engulfed around the same theme of horrific events that plague Cuba everyday for the past 50+ years due to its totalitarian dictatorship and the castro regime.

Castañeda’s EP specifically showcases the life of former political prisoner, Angel Pardo, who was imprisoned for 24 years for allegedly conspiring against the Cuban government. But no crime was ever truly committed. His only duty, at the young age of 18, was to report back to a pro-freedom movement the details of Cuba’s military facilities. He spent 19 years of his 24 year sentence stripped down to his underwear because he refused to accept the clothing designated for the “common prisoner.” A tactic commonly used in Cuban prisons to psychologically demean someones personhood by designating them to wear different color clothing based on the type of criminal they were. Because of this, Pardo refused to wear the color-coded garments they were providing. During his imprisonment, Angel Pardo spent his days in various prisons and witnessed his friends die at the hands of murder or neglect of medical needs.

It’s the relatable stories like the one of Angel Pardo that speak the truths of the struggles and emotions of political prisoners, fleeing refugees, and the millions of Cuban families that bring us together. With the desire to communicate this pain and experience the hope is to reach the world to gain a better understanding of the history of Cuba, the plague that destroyed our beautiful island and the place many of us Cuban-Americans can never call home.

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Castañeda eloquently masters the art of lyricism to perfectly communicate all of these emotions. It was an honor to work with him to create such a meaningful  piece of artwork. I wish nothing but the best in his current and future musical endeavors in which I have no doubt he will be ultimately successful. Make sure to download his EP on May 20, 2017 and visit his artist page: Castañeda to follow all future projects. I promise you will not be disappointed with the results as Castañeda puts his heart on display.

You can also find his collective group that I had the pleasure of photographing earlier this year, here: Chess Players & Poets

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Thank you for visiting Untamed Rose Blog. For Inquiries on artwork, photography, or my shop, feel free to contact me by email or head on over to my Contact Me page and get in touch. I appreciate the support. -URB

Pool Days | Arianna Rose

Blog, Photography

Spring Is quickly passing us by and Summer will be right upon us. The sun will be ever present and the Florida heat will make for perfect pool days and capturing those moments that will be our memories! Here is how we are starting our Summer days:

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She will only be this little once in her life and before we know it, she will be an adult and off doing her own thing and building her own life someday. Even though I wish that these days can slow down and stretch on for as long as possible, at least with these photos, I can remember her this little, wild, and free, forever!

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Thank You For Visiting Untamed Rose Blog! For questions or inquiries, feel free to contact me by email or head to my Contact Me page for more. -URB

Chess Players & Poets | The Collective

Blog, Photography

I had the pleasure of shooting some of my best friends this month as they prepared for the launch of their new hip-hop group called Chess Players & Poets. In great anticipation of sharing this session, I had the opportunity to capture the essence of their personalities and their art through these photos. They have worked vigorously towards their goals and now their visions are becoming a reality.

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Castañeda

“Born to Cuban refugees, Castañeda’s music reflects the transparency and passion that courses through his veins. A Miami rapper, Castañeda directs his emphasis toward lyricism while offering a gritty, diverse, and musically varied approach to rap. His musical journey began at age fifteen and has progressed in step with his personal development. As he has grown, so has his music.

Castañeda writes mostly in an introspective manner, delving into certain social or political realities. For him, artistry entails more than skillful wordplay or well-produced music. His style reflects a passion for both hip-hop and transparency, truth and conveying that truth in a coherent and powerful way. He is equally passionate about his homeland Cuba. Much of his music reflects his love, pain, and general devotion to his beloved island, which is lost in oppression. He is currently working on completing his first EP, set for release in 2017.”

-The Collective

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Jay Parker

“Born and raised in Tampa, Fl in a low-income, single-parent home, Jay Parker experienced firsthand the many cultural differences hidden within his city, and the social influence on the mind of an individual. As a child, he struggled with being overly empathetic, to the point of crying at the sight of a homeless man. His wide range of emotional competence is what allows Jay to be an introspective storyteller in his music. Paint pictures with his passion and pain so the listener can feel and see things from his perspective.

Recently divorced, Jay is turning his painful experience into fresh content for his upcoming Ep, The Subtle Art Of Heartbreak. Set to release in 2017. Written as a sort of therapy, Jay hopes that each listener will leave cherishing his/her spouse more. He states, ‘Although I’ve experienced this rough time in my life, I know that it’s not the end.’ Jay Parker’s main concern isn’t that his listeners will solely like his music, but that they will leave having experienced something real.”

-The Collective

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Kid Candor

Turning his tortured ethos into poetic brilliance, Kid Candor brings boldness, introspection, and soul shaking truth to his listeners. As his name suggests, Candor makes it a point to speak from the heart. A South Florida native, raised in Riviera and West Palm Beach, Candor has always been immersed in hip-hop artistry. Influenced by artists like Eminem, Kanye West, and T.I. His love for music with depth unfolded as he began writing in middle school with every intention to develop into a skilled word-smith. Through his parent’s divorce, horrible role models, and the fight to stay out of turf wars, Candor found music to be the best way to express his many thoughts and ideals.

His upcoming EP, set to release in 2017, uses creative style and raw emotion to challenge the facades of society and reflect in the broken facets of modern day culture. Candor establishes his intentions to impact hip-hop by painting vivid pictures and illustrating personal stories, speaking to people’s souls in a fun and relatable way, yet real and thought-provoking way. Combining his musical talents with local artists and good friends Chess Players & Poets, KC plans on making music that changes lives.”

-The Collective

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I am so excited to see where these next steps will take them as their journey continues to expand. They have only given us a snippet of their poetic hearts and we are already yearning for more. They have so much heart and have all gone through so many life experiences that they are willing to pour it all out through their music and share it with the world. They will, without a doubt, tug at your emotions and reach into your hearts as they give you a front seat experience to their own worlds. One thing is for certain, they will be unapologetically real.

Listen to their first single here: Chess Players & Poets
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Thank you for stopping by Untamed Rose Blog. Don’t forget to click on the links throughout this blog post to follow these three incredible men through social media to keep up with their happenings and new music as they are released. I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed. Give them a follow and spread the love.

For any inquiries about Untamed Rose Blog or about my photos, feel free to drop an email at untamedroseblog@gmail.com or use the Contact Me page directly on my website.

-URB

My Earliest Childhood Memory

Blog, Life

I have several moments in the early stages of my life that I can remember quite vividly. Memories that I can see clear as day in my head and even remember small details. At the age of two or three, my family and I were living in an apartment in the Kendall, Fl area. I don’t remember all the full details of the day, as in, what time of the month or what we were doing that day but I do remember that it was around the year 1994. I’m sure this story may be a little different from the perspectives of the people that were in the room with me on that day but this is what I actually can remember from those moments as they occurred.

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Photo Of The Actual Apartment We Lived In

Someone had just gifted me a toddler size beauty and the beast recliner chair. Within the first few moments of trying it out, I couldn’t quite understand how the mechanism worked. Despite my parent’s attempts to show me what to do, my impatience got the better of me. I managed to get the recliner to open up and had it in a full resting position. I thought I had finally figured it out until it came time to actually close. I tried multiple times to get it closed with everything that I had but it just wouldn’t budge. Out of frustration, three year old me thought it was a good time to just jump off the chair.

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I stood straight up and decided it would be a good idea to jump off the side of an open reclining arm chair. That’s when it happened. My foot got stuck in between the wedge of the seat and the arm as I jumped so I took a swan dive head first into the white tile floor. I am sure you can imagine the chaos that ensued after that fall. I busted my chin wide open. I can remember who I believe was my mom panicking and continuously saying “Se le ve la carne, se le ve la carne!” which means “You can see the meat, you can see the meat!”

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As scary and unsettling as that sounds, I only remember a few short moments after this chaos. I remember being laid down on a sofa and looking up to see all of the adults hovering above me assessing the damage to my tiny baby chin. My grandmother’s boyfriend at the time, who I referred to as Tata, was standing right above me with his hands on my chin. I remember him saying that I was fine and all I need was a butterfly stitch. I don’t remember the rest but to this day I have a one-inch scar that you can still see and feel on my chin.

I can laugh about it now because it has been over twenty years, but I am sure it wasn’t a laughing matter then. I guess you could say that the lesson here is to always be patient and to not jump off a chair if you’re as clumsy as I am!

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Thank you for visiting Untamed Rose Blog and reading about my earliest childhood memory. If you would like to see more, comment down below! 

Measure Of A Man

Blog, Marriage

I have had the amazing opportunity to know and love this man every single day for the last ten years. Within the first few years together we instantly became best friends. We were young, inseparable, and in love. All this time, I have had the chance to witness his love in the ways he has chosen to relentlessly portray it. Like all relationships, we too have had our fair share of bumps in the road. And it hasn’t always been easy to get past them but we always managed to push through because of the foundation of friendship we built together. Our willingness to forgive and love each other, even in the darkest of moments, is one of the reasons I believe we are so close.

One of the main ways my husband shows his love is by acts of service. Specifically, it is one of his love languages. If he does something for me or anyone, even if it is something small, then that is him intentionally showing his love. His natural love language literally means that actions speak louder than words. The thing is, my husband is constantly doing big things for me and my daughter that exude with the expression of that love. His sacrifices to provide for us and his willingness to help even when it isn’t even asked are just some of those ways.

The 5 Love Languages, By: Gary Chapman – For those of you interested in what love languages are. 

When you look at the bible, and specifically John 13:1-5 and John 13:12-17, you notice that one of the main actions of service done by Jesus had to do with the washing of feet. It was not only an expression of humility and service but ultimately it was an expression of His love. Jesus’ symbolism of the washing of the feet was to be an example set for those who know Him or those who are of Him so that they would, in turn, show that same humility, servanthood, and love towards another.

” 12. When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13. You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” –

John 13:12-17, ESV

In a lot of ways, I believe that my husband’s expression of love is based on the example as it is shown in John 13. Whether he consciously knows it or not, I believe that it is because of his faith and love for Christ that he naturally portrays his love in a similar Christ-like manner. He is of Him so he radiates Him through his actions of love. One of the first things stated in Ephesians 5:25-27 is that husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loved the church.

“25. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26. that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27. so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

Ephesians 5:25-27, ESV

To me, this verse is just another affirmation of my husband’s expressions of love that also speaks to his faith and love of Christ. Because Christ showed his love to the Church with the example of the washing of the feet; through his actions of service. When you go to the beginning of Ephesians 5:1 it shines a light on the reference of the example of love once again. That we should be imitators of God and walk in love just as Christ did, taking from Christ’s example of love and emulating that love onto others. As his wife, I think it’s a beautiful blessing to be on the receiving end of that love and be able to witness his imitation of Christ through that.

“1. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Ephesians 5:1-2, ESV

I am in love with the example my husband is to me and my daughter daily. His heart radiates so much more than I think he realizes and I am grateful for what that means for our marriage, our family, and his friends. Despite our circumstance, whether good or bad, I know, as clear as the moon itself, that I can rely on the ever-present love my husband enjoys to give. The measure of a man is love and the love shown by him because of Him displays the exuberant measure of his heart.

“The measure of a man is love.” -Fred Feliciano

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Thank you for stopping by Untamed Rose Blog today. I hope you enjoyed my entry. All the photos were taken by me and are not available to share. Thanks. For questions or inquiries feel free to comment down below or email me! -URB

My Top 10 Favorite Movies

Blog, Life

Have you ever just loved everything about a particular film? So much so that you can watch it and rewatch it multiple times and never get tired of it? How about a movie that impacts you so much that you become obsessed with it forever? Even if it is just one movie, there is something about the cinematic aspect that helps us connect to the characters or the plot. Not all movies have to have an impactful influence on you to be dubbed your favorite and there are certainly a few on my list that aren’t as impactful but that I just love so much because it has either made me laugh or kept my interest. Here are my top ten all-time favorite movies.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 [2003]

I know I piled two movies into one favorite here but because it’s a series, I figured that putting them together would be easier. Kill Bill is one of those Quentin Tarantino movies that I just love for some reason. Every time I tell someone that these are my favorite movies they always look at me like I have three heads. I don’t know if it’s because of the blood and gore that is splattered across the series or the fact that it’s an action movie. I’d assume that because I am a woman, that it may not be the choice of movie most people would expect. That might be true for most people and in most cases, yes, it is true for me. Action movies or movies with blood and gore aren’t generally my go-to movie choices so for a series like Kill Bill to make it onto my top ten all-time favorites can be a shock so I understand that. The thing I love the most about this series is the way the story is told. QT is a great story-teller and the way it’s portrayed in this film really captures the attention and keeps you indulged.

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Song Of The Sea [2014]

One of the more visually impactful movies that I have seen in a really long time. It’s a magical animated story about an old Irish folk tale of seals turning into people. As goofy as that sounds it’s actually really beautiful. This movie showcases the struggle of a family going through grief, how they project that grief, and how they overcome that grief together. It’s a one of a kind story that reaches within the soul and produces something truly magical. The illustrations to this movie really bring the story together and this is one of those movies that I will always watch.

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Moulin Rouge [2001]

I love all things musicals and broadway. I have since I was fourteen years old. I love the theatrics and I love the musical compositions. Everything about it just peaks my interest so when I saw Moulin Rouge for the first time several years ago, my feelings about it wasn’t that much different than the rest. I instantly fell in love with this movie. It’s a classic forbidden love story like Romeo & Juliet with a twist and a musical addition.  A penniless writer falls in love with a courtesan that is promised to a duke. A love triangle that is actually no love triangle at all. I’m usually a sucker for happy endings but this movie doesn’t have that ideal ending you’d find in a happily ever after story. Even with all the sadness, you still feel the deep love that was had between the two main characters. I love the way this story was told and how they used modern day music and applied it to 1890s style. This movie will always make me happy.

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Pineapple Express [2008]

This is one of those films that does not impact me in the slightest or speaks to my life personally but I love it just because it’s hilarious. This movie makes me laugh so much. I know most of the lines by heart and the jokes still never get old. It is one of the first movies with a Seth Rogen and James Franco duo that is absolutely hilarious to me. Add the fact that they’re high throughout the entire movie and you have pure comedic genius. This movie will forever be placed on my top favorites!

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The Shining [1980]

Another movie genre that I just love is horror/suspense. If you know me, then you know I would easily choose to watch a movie like The Shining in the middle of the day as easily as I would choose a movie like Pineapple Express. This doesn’t mean I don’t get scared in scary movies but they interest me and excite me more than anything. The Shining is one of those classic movies that isn’t exactly horror but mostly suspense. It’s a cabin fever type movie about a family that heads to a hotel with a violent history and become isolated because of a snow storm. The story takes a violent turn and your heart races as it begins to unfold before you. One of the original pioneers in the horror movie industry, I can’t think of any other reason why it shouldn’t be on my top favorites.

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Death At A Funeral [2007 British Version]

This movie reaches a whole new level of comedy for me. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard at a movie continuously from beginning to end. For me, this is such a great movie. I know they have made an American remake since then but I am a firm believer in sticking to the originals. This one takes the cake without a doubt because of its hilarious chaos. If you’re looking for a laugh, I will always recommend this one. You’ll be belly laughing in no time, I promise!

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Jaws [1975]

Everyone has probably seen or heard of the famous great white shark the wreaks havoc on a beach thriving town by now. It’s another one of those suspense films that was made over thirty years ago but can still be dubbed as an all-time favorite today. They made a huge saga film base on this story and while I still consider all the other sequels to be a classic just the same, the first movie is the one I think deserves my most utmost praise. It’s the one that started it all. I can’t promise this movie will help you if you have a fear of sharks but it may just feed the craving if you’re dying to watch something suspenseful.

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Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children [2016]

This movie goes in the vault of all-time favorites because first and foremost, it is a Tim Burton film. He is one of my favorite directors and I have watched almost every single movie he has created or has been a part of. Most people that know me, know this fact. So it may not come as a surprise the Home For Peculiar Children reached my top ten faves. It is based off a novel created by Ransom Riggs. This movie has all the awesome, creepy, suspenseful, and whimsical sightings you would usually find in any Tim Burton movie but instead of his normal stop motion characters, he has made these characters come to life. I loved the story and how it was told as well as all the Burtonesque visuals we get to experience. If you are interested in creepy style films, you will definitely want to add this to your collection.

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [2007]

Another Tim Burton favorite for me! It gives me all of the elements I love most and almost all of the criteria I have stated in this blog post already. Creepy, suspenseful, blood, gore, and of course, musical. Many are familiar with the Broadway show of Sweeney Todd but Tim Burton’s rendition of it is definitely my favorite. A classic revenge story with so many twists. This movie always holds such a big chunk of my heart and I am never able to control myself from singing along when I am watching it. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s definitely mine.

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Everyone has different tastes when it comes to films so these are just my personal top ten all-time favorite movies that I love to spend my time watching. These selections may not be for everyone but I hope you enjoyed my small commentaries on some of the films I find enjoyable.

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Comment down below if any of these are your favorites too! – URB

Young Love | Our Story

Blog, Marriage

In 2006 I met my husband Josh. We didn’t know it at the time but the second I met him I had a feeling that things were about to get really interesting and I actually do mean the first second I saw him. To this day, I won’t deny that I was head over heels from second one. At the time, I was attending a small church in the middle of Hialeah, Fl. My uncle, who is not that much older than I am, invited his friend from school to visit one Sunday. It was the beginning of service and everyone was going along with the normal Sunday routine. The doors open and in walks in a new family. As they made their way to their seats, I caught a glimpse of him and at that literal moment, I melted like butter.

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I was only fourteen years old when we met and coming from a family that is dominantly male, they were always largely overprotective of me. So ahead of his arrival to my church my uncle gave him a list of instructions directly pertaining to his interactions with me and it went a little bit like this:

” My niece attends this church and she’s right around our same age. Just make sure you stay away from her. Her dad is really strict. Don’t talk to her. Don’t say hello. Don’t walk in her direction.”

It mustn’t have been easy for someone to enter a new place and be told to stay away from someone he’s never met. But surely enough, it took him quite a while to even speak to me because of all of these instructions. He wanted to be respectful of his friend and to my family in which he had just met.

Just a few months later it was my birthday so my parents decided to throw me a surprise party early because the following week we were leaving on a ten-day trip. At this point, I really thought he didn’t like me after he had been dodging me for so long. Mostly because every time I tried to initiate an interaction, he wouldn’t really respond. So when he actually showed up to my surprise birthday party my heart just froze in its place.

When I left for my birthday trip, I went with a few friends, family, and my uncle. Somehow during my time on this trip, with the help of a great friend, I managed to convince my uncle to give Josh a break and let him talk to me. I did all this not even knowing if it was something Josh even wanted to do because there was a really good chance that he didn’t actually like me. My uncle obliged and shortly after my trip, and to my surprise, I received a phone call from him. I remember the first time he called me and I remember our conversation well. Mostly because it was short but it was also memorable because, after that first phone call, we never stopped pursuing each other.

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I don’t know if most people can say that they found their soul mate or true love at the age of fourteen or that most people can say they stuck through a relationship they had in their teen years. We were really young and I don’t think I was even really thinking about all of that at that age but it just happened for us that way. This isn’t to say that there weren’t hardships down the road or that there still isn’t. No, our relationship is far from perfect. But what I think worked for us is our willingness to never give up on each other despite the bumps in the road and the hardships that hit our relationship. We don’t have everything figured out but what we do know is that relationships are hard and it takes time to figure each other out. I think it was just fortunate for us that we got through a lot of that relationship building when we were kids. There wasn’t a pressure for marriage or the possibility of kids so we got the chance to build our friendship and establish a lot of that history that has kept us so close all these years. I am hoping that during this blogging journey I will be able to share a lot of those moments and give you insights into all of the awesome parts and maybe some of the not so good moments in hopes that it helps people who may go through similar stories or even help people entering relationships.

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Thank you for visiting Untamed Rose Blog! Comment down below if you stopped by. If you have an questions or inquiries, you can direct them to our contact section. ❤ – URB

March Favorites 2017

Blog, Shop

Here is my review of the products I have been using this month.

To shop for these items, refer to my sidebar on the right. Click on the photo of the product you would like to try and it will take you directly to this month’s favorites!

Yes To Tomatoes

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Skin care is an important part of my makeup routine. Without a clear clean face, my makeup would look blotchy and my skin would look dry no matter the cost. Face washes along with skin moisturizers go a long way in making sure my skin stays smooth and glowing for perfect makeup application. This product isn’t only for women. My husband uses this product regularly along with me. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask helps in clearing up acne and blemishes as well as removing impurities from deep in the skin and pores. The instructions state to spread a generous amount of this product on your face while avoiding the eyes and mouth. After leaving the mud mask on for about 15-20 minutes, you simply rinse off all of the residues until you have a nice clean refreshing face. The biggest pro to this product is that it claims to be made out of 100% all natural ingredients. You know what is going on your face and you feel good about it!

Sephora Collection Eyeshadow Palette ~ Limited Edition

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When it comes to my makeup, I try to keep it as simple as possible. I rarely go for colors that really stand out so eyeshadow palettes aren’t in my normal makeup repertoire. When I received this palette, the first thing that was very clear was that amount of colors available. One side of the palette caters to the more neutral tones that I am more drawn to. The other half caters to bolder colored tones for that pop of color type look. Apprehensive of this palette, I decided to jump in and see what the quality was like. I can tell you that this palette is really great! The eyeshadows go on smoothly and blend out so neatly. You can tell it is a high-quality product right away and it inspires me to experiment more with all of the colors now available to me. It also includes a really nice eyeshadow brush and two eyeliner pencils.

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette

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Cleaning your makeup brushes is an absolute must that should always be incorporated into a makeup routine. The product goes on your brushes and the brushes go on your face. No matter how clean you think you may be, having brushes fester for weeks without washings regularly can lead to bacteria build ups. Yucky stuff that you just don’t want to put on your face. I have been actually using this for several months to clean my Sephora Makeup Brush Set. This brush cleanser fits in the palm of my hand and allows me to have an easy grip to clean my brushes efficiently. The bumped ridges on the cleansing palette are designed to clean all different sized brushes. Just add any makeup cleansing liquid and scrub away. Soap and water work fine too but this palette is useful to really dig deep into the pores of the brush bristles. I have enjoyed this product and would highly recommend it.

City Color Cosmetics Contour Effects Palette

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I have several contour palettes or bronzers and blushes that I use regularly. If you want to find a very affordable product but want to achieve the same look as those high-end items,  this contour palette does the trick. I have used this brand for a while and specifically use the contour and bronzer sections because they go well with my skin tone. My favorite part about this palette is that it’s in a powder form so it really allows you to be able to blend in effortlessly. It goes on smoothly for my skin and has been dubbed a favorite in my book.

Grande Lips Lip Plumper

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I was always hesitant about the word “lip pumper”. My natural lips are already pouty so I have always avoided the lip plumper because I felt like it may have been redundant. I still feel this way about this type of product but after trying this for about two months, I really like it. There’s a hydrating lip plumper in this brand that helps me with dry lips, and a tingly minty feel to the lips that don’t feel like it burns like other ordinary plumps. It also doesn’t give me a swollen lip look so I apply it, leave it on for a minute or so, and then remove it before I apply my lip balm. I have enjoyed it so much that I have actually started to incorporate it into my everyday routine.

Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm

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This one is a simple one for me. I have tried so many lip balms over the years and Burt’s Bees has always been the best product by far. I love everything about this brand. From it being a mostly natural product to the smell and longevity of its duration. It’s all a plus for me. If you generally have dry chapped lips, use some Burt’s Bees regularly and it will really help.

Wander Beauty Carryon Lip

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The crayon lip. I love this product so much. I use the color Pink City and it looks like a more enhanced natural lip color. I am not generally a pink makeup kind of gal so this one really surprised me. It feels light weight and looks great. I wish it lasted longer like the ever popular liquid lipsticks but this is one of those products that I do not mind applying again and again. According to the brand, this crayon can also be used as a cheek application to be put in place of a blush. This line come is more rosy colors and has a dual purpose. I have only tried one color but it does peak my interest to try more of this brand!

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Thank you for visiting Untamed Rose Blog. If there are any products you would like to see reviewed, leave a comment down below! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and receive regular updates on new blog posts. 

Arianna Rose | Two Years Old

Blog, Photography

Every time I have the opportunity, I try and take cute lifestyle-like photos to keep a record of how much she has grown throughout the months or years. I have done this regularly since she was about 9 months old and have taken photos of her many milestones throughout that time. I won’t call myself a photographer but I am a big believer in learning new types of art mediums and mastering the technique just for fun. It also helps me learn more about my camera and how to use it so I take advantage of those moments to do just that.

It’s 2017 and Arianna Rose is now two years old. She’s gotten taller, she’s gone up in clothing sizes, she’s saying more words and even starting to use full sentences in the best way she can. She knows every word to almost every song she’s heard and every movie she’s watched; and that’s not an exargeration. She actually does know all the words. After she mastered learning the words she has now actually begun acting out the cartoons. We suspect there will be an interest in drama for her future. She makes us laugh all the time and her sense of humor is always on point. Her personality has shown through more than ever and she is way more expressive with her emotions.

She has several favorite movies right now that consist of Moana, Finding Dory, Lilo & Stitch, Frozen and Little Mermaid. She can watch those over and over again and still have the same enthusiasm of watching it like it’s the first time she’s seen it. Mickey Mouse might just be her most favorite of all as it has been since she was a little baby. We try to take her to Disney World every chance we get and even the sight of the smallest Mickey head has her jumping with excitement.

The day I took these photos, we were sitting at home enjoying a nice calm day. Not too many exciting things happening but it was just me and her making the most of our everyday routine. I was admiring her while she was playing with her toys so I instantly whipped out my camera to capture the moment. I wanted to freeze that moment in time. As she was playing with her toys, all I could keep thinking about was how she is never going to stay this little forever. I brought out my camera and start snapping away because I wanted to savor the moment as much as I possibly could. To keep these photos as a memory of how tiny and how beautiful our Arianna Rose is.

These are the moments that I will always try to capture. To freeze the time I know she won’t always be in. Our Arianna Rose. Fun, carefree, wild, hilarious, little, beautiful Rose.

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Thanks for visiting Untamed Rose Blog! Any questions or inquires can be directed to my contacts page. (:

10 Helpful Tips To Remember When Visiting Disney World | Magic Kingdom

Blog, Travel

Being a Disney connoisseur and taking so many trips there over the years, I have gathered so many helpful insights along the way that I have used repeatedly. These tips always ensure a fun experience where you are able to make the most out of even the smallest of trips. Every park has different perks and ways to maneuver around the parks so today we’re focusing on the Magic Kingdom. I am sure that these tips can apply to all the Disney parks in general but MK is the park I have visited the most over the years.

Tip 1: Get There Early

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If you’re visiting Disney for a short trip, you’ll probably notice almost immediately that there is a million and one things to do while you’re there. From the rides, restaurants, countless shows, parades, and fireworks, you quickly realize that not all of these fun attractions can really be done in one day. And that’s a rational thought, for sure. The goal is to be able to do as much as you can in a fun free-spirited way. One of those ways is making sure you get there early! Thousands of people enter the Magic Kingdom every single day. Walking to and from your car is bound to take at least 2 hours out of your day so you want to account for this loss of time. Get there early, keep in mind the arriving and leaving times, and you’ll have so much time in between to do what you need to do.

Tip 2: Take The Other Monorail

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When you finally arrive at the Transportation & Ticket Center, Disney offers several modes of transportation that get you to the Magic Kingdom park. The most used mode of transportation is the main monorail track that takes you directly to the park. Unfortunately, the line is always so long you’ll find yourself waiting at least 20 minutes or more to just get onto the Monorail. You could always take the Boat Ferry and catch the sights of the Seven Seas Lagoon while you make your way into the park. Or, you could just take the Resort Monorail that also takes you directly to the park. It will make two small stops at the Deluxe Disney Resorts on the way, but it’s never jam-packed like the main monorail and it will get you there in no time!

Tip 3: Plan Your Fast Passes Ahead Of Time

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This is a crucial one. There’s a rough estimate of over 50,000 people or more who enter the Magic Kingdom park every day. Even with all of the different attractions to visit, that’s still a whole lot of people trying to get on the same rides your trying to get on. One thing people always forget to do is to plan out their fast passes ahead of time so wait times become something around an hour long and that’s just more valuable time being wasted standing in a line. Luckily, Disney has made it so that you can plan out your passes from your smartphone at any time for any day. Download the My Disney Experience app. There you’ll be able to set fast passes, reserve your spots at restaurants or hotels, see the wait times for rides, and find the map of the park you are visiting that day. It’s one of the most helpful tools Disney has placed at your fingertips and it’s key to making sure your day is planned perfectly.

Tip 4: Child Swap Is Your Best Friend

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This tip is specifically for visitors that have children that are too small to ride the attractions at the park. If you are using a fast pass or are just waiting in normal line, you can talk to the Disney Cast Member working the ride and ask for a Child Swap. They will most likely ask you if they can see your little one so that you can be approved to receive the ticket. Once you’ve proved you have a little one, you are handed a ticket for you and four other members of your party to ride the ride again.

Now the trick to this is that one person of your party does have to stay out with the little one (obviously) but when you get back from riding the ride, those using the child swap ticket can re-ride the ride and enter through the fast pass lane. If you’re using a fast pass for a ride that you are also using a child swap, you can use the fast pass lane two times in a row. The child swap tickets last a whole month so if you keep the tickets with you and are coming back to visit, you can use them later on.

Tip 5: Take Advantage During Parades

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Disney is always having some sort of show or parade going on. It happens quite often and large groups of people always gather to watch them so I always recommend using this time to take advantage and get to the rides you don’t have fast passes for or go eat food around these times. Think about it, thousands of Disney visitors will be watching these shows or parades and will not be waiting in lines or eating at restaurants. Lines will be significantly shorter and restaurants will be significantly empty. Take advantage, get to those rides, and get what can be done during these times. The Disney app give you parade times so you will have those handy when you need it.

Tip 6: Travel Light

Technically, this is rule number one in my book. I travel with my daughter so most of the time I find myself having to take items that are unavoidable because she’s still so little. But the goal is always to bring little to nothing with you. This is especially helpful when you are entering the park. They do bag checks and waiting in line for them to check everyone’s bag can take a pretty large chunk of your time. The more you bring, the more they have to look through. If it’s just me and my husband then we just bring our phones and our money. That’s it. You can breeze through the no bag line and get to the entrance quicker than everyone else. If you do take bags, you’ll find yourself constantly worried about what to do with them on rides. If you take strollers, you’ll find yourself constantly looking for parking spots. They have limited stroller parking stations and usually, they are filled up. So looking for a safe spot to park your stroller can take some time as well. Again, some things are unavoidable but if you don’t have to bring it, the best bet is that you shouldn’t.

Tip 7: Looking For A Break?


Stop by the hall of presidents or Country Bear Jamboree if you’re wanting to take a break after a large meal or just need to rest your feet. These are often the most overlooked attractions in the parks but you will be able to have a seat for a decent amount of time in an air conditioned room. That’s a win-win for taking breaks!

Tip 8: Watch The Fireworks Without The Crowd


During the Wishes firework show, the large crowds generally like to gather on Main Street to face the castle as the show is going on. Now while that may the most ideal spot to get a view of the fireworks, it’s also the most crowded. And by crowded I mean, shoulder to shoulder, invasion of personal space, too many people in one space kind of crowded. I stumbled across this tip accidentally while resting my feet. Fantasyland has a Pinocchio restaurant the has some outdoor seating. I didn’t realize the time and just so happened to catch Wishes as it was starting. You actually get a pretty up-close view of the fireworks. You’ll be starting at the back of the Cinderella castle but you’ll still get a chance to see what all the fuss is about while having a nice seat and very little crowding.

Tip 9: Extended Park Hours

Disney offers several perks for visitors staying in any of their Disney Resort locations. One of those very awesome perks is Extra Magic Hours. On select days, Disney decides to either open a few hours earlier or stay open a few hours after they “close”. If you aren’t staying in any of the Disney properties, there are a few tricks to this tip. Disney stays open at least an hour after their “closing time.” As the large crowds are making their way out of the park, you can still take some of the extra time to take advantage of visiting a few other attractions or even get your shopping in. You won’t be pressured to leave and you can spend a few extra minutes.

Tip 10: Plan Ahead & Don’t Over Plan

There are hundreds of attractions and sites to see at the Magic Kingdom alone and you are definitely not going to be able to see everything in one day or even on a small weekend. If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to map out all of the most important attractions you definitely want to visit. A lot of visitors think they have to fit a whole lot into their small vacation because it may be one of the only times you may be able to visit the Magic Kingdom or Disney World in general. Because of this, my advice is to remember not to over plan. The Magic Kingdom is at least a 107-acre property with a few miles of walking around. Factor in the time you’re waiting in lines and you will have yourself one very exhausting day. Over planning might just put a bigger strain on your magical fun filled day. Be realistic, keep it light, try some of these tips and tricks, and enjoy yourself. No matter how much you get to see, you will always get your days worth of fun!

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We hope you enjoyed these 6 Tips for visiting the Magic Kingdom. Comment below if you have any questions about your future trips to Disney and I’d be glad to help you out. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get regular updates on new blog posts! -URB

 

Breastfeeding | Why It Failed For Me

Blog, Motherhood

Every expectant mother at one point or another has this perfect idea as to how their birth story is supposed to go. They plan every detail and expect for everything to go perfectly. You know what I mean, right? That moment when you think, “I’m going to have a natural birth with no epidural” or, “baby is going to breastfeed exclusively.” You even try and control what your time with baby will be like once they arrive because everything has to be just perfect. That kind of planning.

It’s almost like making sure that because we plan everything right it must mean that life will be easy because you already know what to expect. The harsh truth about all of this is that the majority of the time, things don’t go according to plan. And that’s okay.

Story Time

Going back to the birth of my daughter, I can tell you that I myself had an expectation of how everything was supposed to go. After going through so many doctor appointments, reading up on birthing articles, and absorbing knowledge from parenting blogs, I started to think I had a good sense of everything that needed to be done. Breastfeeding was one of the most talked about topics and it seemed to bring a bit of controversy into the parenting world. A stigma that one way was right and the other was a failure. Every article that brought up breastfeeding seemed to allude to the idea that breastfeeding is the only way to go and that formula feeding was wrong and made you a “bad mother.”

When the time came for my daughter to be born, one of the first things the nurses ask is if you want to breast or bottle feed. Naturally, I chose the route of breastfeeding. The nurses began to teach me what I needed to know and they wanted to see how well my daughter was able to latch on.  After a few tries, she finally did and I thought, “Yes! I am doing this! Breastfeeding is totally happening right know.” There was so much excitement in that moment I thought I was on top of the world. Newborns need to be fed around every 1-2 hours. So when the time came for her second feed, I started to have some trouble. I was trying all the techniques the nurses had shown me; even with my husbands help. My problem was that my daughter would latch and then detach. We called the nurse in for help and they gave me some other techniques to use; which seemed to work for only short periods of time. Arianna was getting so frustrated but the nurses insisted that we persist with the techniques they had shown us. Practice makes perfect, basically.

On our last day, they brought in a breastfeeding specialist. She claimed to have all the magical answers for us. When she arrived for our meeting, it resulted in just being shown more techniques to use on our baby to get her to latch on. I think she only spent a total of 3-5 minutes with us in total just trying to “guide” us on what was correct. All of this information from nurses and specialists. All these techniques that are supposed to be useful tools for getting this right. And we still struggled. The night we went home, the nurse gave us a few bottles of formula that were put in our take home gift basket from the hospital. That day, we tried breastfeeding again. At that point, my daughter was frustrated and hungry. She went from patiently trying to latch on to frustratingly impatient because she was hungry and it wasn’t working. I don’t blame her. Newborns only know a few things when they enter this world and one of those main things is that they’re hungry when they’re hungry.

After several frustrating tries and spending a large amount of time getting her to latch on, I told my husband to hand me the formula bottles. I was hesitant because I started to feel like a failure. But, my daughter needed to eat. Arianna took it right away and was the most peaceful she had been in four days. There was a bittersweet feeling about it. I felt a sense of relief because she was finally able to eat and be comfortable but I also felt guilt because of the stigma. I still had this expectation of breastfeeding so I got my hands on a fancy pump machine. I thought, “if latching on isn’t working and she seems to use a bottle fine, then I’ll just pump and she’ll get all the nutrients she’s supposed to be receiving.” My body had other plans. I read up on how the pumps were supposed to be used and how often to use them so I followed those instructions. My daughter was being fed formula while I tried my luck at starting a new breastfeeding routine. The first time I tried it, I sat there for over two hours and was only able to produce a minuscule amount of milk. Two ounces. The more I tried, the less I was able to produce until finally I just stopped. Within the first week of giving birth to my daughter, my body stopped producing milk.

My body had other plans. I read up on how the pumps were supposed to be used and how often to use them so I followed those instructions. My daughter was being fed formula while I tried my luck at starting a new breastfeeding routine. The first time I tried it, I sat there for over two hours and was only able to produce a minuscule amount of milk. Two ounces. The more I tried, the less I was able to produce until finally I just stopped. Within the first week of giving birth to my daughter, my body stopped producing milk altogether.

Formula Feeding Doesn’t Make You A Failure

It wasn’t easy coming to grips with the fact that my body had failed me. As a mother, one of the first moments you have of providing for your new bundle of joy is being able to breastfeed and provide those crucial nutrients they need to enter the world. My body being unable to produce it made me feel like I had just failed my daughter and she had only been on the earth for less than a week. I quickly came to the realization that I was giving into the stigma. I was letting all of those articles get into my head and cloud what was really important. Sure, my daughter was being formula fed, but most importantly she was being fed. She was still being given all of the nutrients she needed and I was still striving to make sure of that. Breastfeeding is ideal to the world where they only focus on the ideal. But they never account for moms who struggle with breastfeeding or the moms who can’t breastfeed at all. Formula feeding was created for this very reason and that’s okay. It should never be a debate that one way is better than the other or that one parent is a better parent than the other because of the ways they choose to feed their babies. No, we’re all moms trying to make sure our children are getting the best they can.

Breastfeeding is ideal to the world where they only focus on the ideal. But they never account for moms who struggle with breastfeeding or the moms who can’t breastfeed at all. Formula feeding was created for this very reason and that’s okay. It should never be a debate that one way is better than the other or that one parent is a better parent than the other because of the ways they choose to feed their babies. No. We’re all moms trying to make sure our children are getting the best they can.

Accepting that you are human and that your body works differently than the next person, you will realize that no matter what choices you make for your children you’re doing your best and that is okay. I won’t stop trying to breastfeed when I have more children but that doesn’t mean that I won’t consider formula feeding if something like this happens again. If our perfect plans don’t go like they’re supposed to, it doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It simply means that you are human. If there is one lesson I can take from this whole experience it is this. Breastfeeding moms, be open minded that formula moms are trying their best. Formula moms, don’t be so hard on yourself. Both types of moms are amazing mothers just trying to nourish their little ones.

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We hope you enjoyed our breastfeeding post today. We’d like to hear about some of your stories and whether you breast or formula fed your babies. So comment down below and let us know! Remember to be kind. We’re all mommas doing the best we can! Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up with my future blog posts.  

Birth Story | Arianna Rose

Blog, Motherhood

January 5th will forever be marked as one of the best days of our life. It was the day my daughter was born into this world. We chose to visually document the powerful moment of our birth story as a celebration to remember that day forever and share it with those around us.

On January 4th, I entered the hospital at around 10:30 pm because of contraction pains. Generally, when you first get to the hospital, they evaluate you to make sure you’re ready to stay there. Plenty of expectant mothers walk through those doors experiencing Braxton Hicks Contractions which is just another term for false alarms. So because of this, they check how dilated you are, how far apart your contractions are, and if your water broke. The did a series of those tests including an ultrasound just to make sure that baby was okay. I was 1 centimeter dilated when they finally decided to admit me so they moved me into room 2205. My contraction pain was pretty strong even at the very beginning and at this point, I was already a whole week overdue. The original plan that was created with my doctors was to be medically induced on January 5 at 8 pm. My daughter had other plans and decided she was ready to start her way several hours prior to that. My water officially broke around 3:00 am and from that moment on, the pain became unbearable so I made the decision to get an epidural to ease the pain.

The early morning started and close family members started to trickle in to visit. At our hospital, they didn’t really have a restriction as to how many people can be in the room with you while you’re going through labor. At one point, I was pretty sure there were at least 15 people in the room just watching me go through this. Even with the epidural, the pain was powerful. I actually thought that it wore out after a while because every time a contraction started again, I found myself writhing in pain. The nurses offered another dose but I declined and chose to keep pressing through it. I think my mindset at that point was just trying to put mind over matter and get it over with.

Eventually, I reached 10 centimeters of dilation and it was finally time to push. Everyone was sent out of the room and the doctor arrived to assist in making sure everything went smoothly after that point. As a newbie mom who never chose to go to a single Lamaze class, pushing took me a minute to get right. After I got it down, every push just seemed to last forever when in reality they were just simple ten-second pushes. My mom was counting the seconds down and I got so impatient I literally stopped everything and frustratingly told her to count faster. As if counting faster would somehow shorten my ten seconds. It’s one of those moments that I can laugh at now.

My daughter was born at 1:05 pm on January 5th. For me, that might just be the luckiest time to be born into the world. Once everything was said and done, there was a moment of relief but also a moment of overwhelming joy that produced many tears around the room. The doctor offered that my husband cut the umbilical cord, but I think with all the emotions he was feeling he couldn’t. So my mother got to cut my daughter’s umbilical cord.

The rest of the family that didn’t stay in the room with us during the delivery were all let back in. Everyone was eager to see her. I think most importantly, they were all eager to hold her. She was our Arianna Rose; our brand new fresh-faced baby girl. Everyone’s family title had suddenly changed because of our Rose. Brothers were now uncles, mothers were now grandmothers, grandmothers were now great-grandmothers and so on.

Once everyone got their doses of love in, we were finally able to change her. I wouldn’t say her first outfit wasn’t the most memorable. It was far too big even though it was in a newborn size. Our little peanut was so tiny and weighed only six pounds. Nevertheless, she looked adorable in anything that was put on her. Her baby blue onesie said “Daddy’s Little Princess” in yellow and had a white beanie hat to match. Fitted with warm socks and a blanket and she was ready to venture into the rest of the world right there along with us.

We spent most of our night with very little sleep. It was to be expected. She was such a quiet newborn; barely any crying or screaming. I had a little mishap after giving birth that I needed stitches for so I spent most of my time trying to recover, master breastfeeding (Which ended up as an epic fail. But that’s a story for another time.), and learning about my daughter and everything I needed to know to care for her. My husband helped me tremendously and was there every time I needed him and was so hands on. Any task needed, he was there to help. After all, he was learning too.

She mastered her first few days like a champ and before we knew it, we were ready to go home! We had officially done it. We went through three months of trying to get pregnant, nine months of pregnancy, several hours of labor and delivery, and three days in a hospital to finally reach the moment of taking her home and having her with us.

Her first day home was pure bliss. We were all incredibly exhausted both physically and visually due to the lack of sleep we were getting over the previous days but there was this calming sense about the whole day. I can’t really explain it. I think most of that calmness was because we were finally out of the hospital and back in the comforts of our own home but I also think it had a lot to do with just finally being with our girl. We couldn’t be more grateful to have the task and responsibility of cherishing and caring for the most precious gift in the world.

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Comment down below if there are any parenting stories you all would like to hear or what your own birth stories were like. Remember, we’re all different and every birth story is a real birth story.

10 Facts About Me

Blog, Life

Here are 10 random facts that you may not know about me. As we go on this journey together, you will get to learn a lot more about me and who I am. This is a list of some of the things I love, some of the things that scare me, and more!

1. I Am Obsessed With All Things Disney World

Ever since I was a little girl, I visited Walt Disney World quite frequently. I loved everything about it and to this day I visit as if it is my second home. I know my way around every park, I never need a map, and I never get bored with it no matter how many times I go.

2. I Have A Tattoo On My Left Ring Finger

When my husband and I got married, we immediately agreed that our wedding rings were more of a symbol than anything else. We didn’t think there was an importance in having expensive jewelry to prove a point that we were married. The only thing we knew was that it meant something more than what it cost. We decided to make it a little more permanent and got matching infinity symbol tattoos on our ring fingers. I believe it was one of the best decisions we have ever made.

3. I Am A Dog Person

I have always had dogs since I was a little girl. My very first experience with a dog was when I was 2 years old. My grandmother bought a baby Pomeranian and it was my best friend for several of my toddler years. We had a beagle for a short time after that. When I was 12, my parents took in a Labrador Mix puppy dog which we named Hazel. Three years later, we welcomed a wild purebred Beagle which we named Cookie. And today, I have a beautiful White German Shepherd named Nova. Dogs have been a big constant in my life and I have so much love for these animals.

4. I Have A Phobia Of Lizards 

Where do I begin with this topic? I don’t remember the exact day I realized that I was actually terrified of lizards. I think over the course of time and with what I would consider as traumatic experiences with these vile creatures, I just grew to despise them. One memory I remember very vividly was when I was helping a friend of mine move a bike in her backyard. As I was making my way home, I felt as if something was crawling up my leg. Horrified, I held onto this would-be-creature as I quickly made my way home to take off my pants and reveal the culprit. As soon as those pants came off, the blood-curdling scream that escaped from my mouth could have probably set off house alarms. From that day, there were just loads of stories that filled my life about the interactions with these vile things.

5. I Am Bilingual And Fluent In Spanish

As most of you know, I am Cuban-American and was born and raised in Miami, Fl. While it may not be a surprise to you that I can speak Spanish, sometimes new generations don’t care to speak it or aren’t able to communicate all that well. My grandmother taught me from a very young age to never lose my Spanish and to make sure that I knew it well enough to teach my children some day. Being an American, you tend to become consumed by its culture and I think it’s important to cling to your own cultures and values as to not lose who you are or who your ancestors were. Because of that, I am fluent in Spanish and can both read and write it.

6. I Am The Oldest Of 6 Siblings

Three boys and three girls, to be exact. Although it’s a long story to tell, the gist of it is that from three separate marriages there is now 7 of us total. We all live in different cities and I met most of them later on my teenage to adults years. Many of us still stay in contact with each other as much as we can but when we are together, it’s almost as if we were never apart.

7. I Didn’t Learn How To Ride A Bike Until I Was 13

I know, it’s such a shame. I don’t think I never learned out of fear, but more out of laziness. I can rollerblade like a pro but couldn’t ride a bike to save my life. It took me a full day to completely learn and I am still rusty even to this day.

8. I Don’t Know How To Swim

This is another one. I went to the beach all the time as a kid and spent most of my summers in a pool. And yet ironically, I have no clue how to swim. People have tried to teach me repeatedly, but to no avail, I never absorbed any of their information. I can probably doggy-paddle a bit if I try really hard but I am definitely not the strongest swimmer out there.

9. You Won’t Catch Me On An Airplane Anytime Soon

Ah, more phobias. I’ve been on planes before. And you’re probably thinking, “well if you’ve already been on them what’s the big deal?” Anxiety. That’s the big deal. They cause full on panic attacks and because of that I avoid flying altogether. If I want to get anywhere, I’d rather drive!

10. I Love Broadway Musicals

Yes! I have always been fascinated by musicals ever since the very first time I got to see Cats! at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts at just 15 years old. Since then, I have seen Wicked, Grease, Mary Poppins, and Cirque Du Soleil. My hope for the future is to see much more and add them to my growing list of favorites!

These are 10 small facts you didn’t know about me! For more articles like this, leave a comment down below and let me know what kind of personal facts would you like to know more about. Don’t forget to visit our February Favorites article and check out the products I have tried this month.

Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds.

Blog, Life

Abuela Duly

My grandmother was my whole world. I lived the majority of the first bits of my life with her every single day. I was her favorite and it showed through. Growing up with her in my life and having her present almost every single day made her more of a mother figure than anything else. I have so many memories that I cherish so deeply because I only have so many. She was in my life for a short time, but during the short time, she showed me how much she loved me. I am grateful that though the memories are few, they are grand. My grandmother was a nail technician who ran a business out of her own home. She loved to dance and she loved to laugh. There was always music blaring at any time of day. She was the life of the party at all times and she was well-known for having such a beautiful personality. I always wanted to be around her. Every moment of every day.

She had this distinct way of saying my name. Some days I wish I could just hear her say it again. Just once. Or that I can hear her laugh just one more time. This loud squawk of a laugh that was infectious to those around her. If I could just hear that once more, I would be content.

Her Struggle

For anyone that has ever met my grandmother, or even spent a large amount of time with her, they would know that she hated the idea of getting old. And she most certainly hated the idea of being overweight. She was barely through her 40’s and she refused to get any wrinkles. She had a certain beauty ritual she followed to ensure this but her weight was always a struggle. She was constantly trying to look for new outrageous ways to lose weight. The day came when she finally thought she had found the solution to her problem.

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The Surgery

Around the beginning of 2001, there was a new surgery that emerged that was strictly in the experimental stages. Many would refer to it today as Gastric Bypass Surgery. For those of you that may not know, it is a surgery that helps you lose weight at a very rapid rate. As soon as this was advertised as a possibility, my grandmother quickly leaped at the chance of being one of the first people to try it. She had to go to several meetings with doctors leading up to the surgery. One of those meetings involved her signing a waiver in the event that something happened to her. My mother was hesitant with this idea and tried to convince her otherwise. I mean, it’s a scary thought to walk into a meeting with your mother and think of the possibility that she may not survive through something like this. I don’t think that anyone likes to be put in that position. But my grandmother persisted because she had this dream of having an ideal image.

She was beautiful. And I only wish she really knew how beautiful. She was always so well dressed. She loved to wear makeup and jewelry. He nails were always done and her hair always styled. Regardless of this, she went through with the procedure. Everything looked good the day she went in and before we knew it, the surgery was done and she was ready to go home to begin her recovery process. My grandmother wasn’t exactly the healthiest person due to her severe asthma and diabetes that she had battled with for most of her life. Her idea was that this surgery was going to be the solution to all of those problems. That her weight loss would be good for her.

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Her Death

The day they sent her home, we got a call that she had to be rushed back to the hospital. She had gone into toxic shock. Everything she consumed was just leaking into her system. Unfortunately, the doctors did not check for this immediately. Instead, they believed that it was an error of the procedure so they decided to operate her in a different way. It wasn’t after the second surgery that the doctors realized what the real problem was.

This left her in a coma for the 13 days. During that time, my grandmother woke up only once and it only lasted a short time. She told us that she loved us. My great-grandfather, who was a pastor, was there at the time she woke up from her coma. He spoke with her and prayed with her and was able to lead her to the Lord in those few short moments. As soon as this happened, she slipped back into her coma. She only lasted 13 days before she passed away.

I remember the night of her death excruciatingly well. When we got the call, my brother and I were getting ready for bed in our room. We were watching a movie and laying down on our bunk beds when we began to hear this whaling from the other room. My brother and I commented to each other that we thought our mom may have been laughing since that wasn’t an abnormal occurrence in our home. After a few minutes of this, we started to become worried. Laughing started to sound a lot more like hysterical crying so we both got up to see what was wrong. When we walked into our living room, my mother is sitting on the couch with her hand covering her face; crying. She had the phone in the other hand and someone was talking to her. I think at that moment I just knew. There could only be one reason my mom could be reacting that way. If I could recall the exact words that were said at that moment, I would. But there was such a rush of emotions that night that I think I had gone into a little bit of a shock.

My mother’s closest friends were the first to arrive at our house. I remember them trying to console us but the tears just flowed and flowed. That same night, my parents left me and my brother with my other grandparents (my dad’s parents). I remember that being such a weird experience. All I wanted was to be with my grandmother. I didn’t want to be there in that moment. My whole world had come crashing down and it was a lot to process.

Mourning

I was only 10 years old when she passed away. During the time she has been gone I have had so many people tell all kinds of things like – “time heals all wounds”, “the pain you feel will pass with time”, “it’s okay, she’s in a better place.” None of those things are comforting to say and none of those things relieve my pain. Being that young, I had never experienced anything like that. I had never had a death in my family let alone having it be someone I was incredibly close to. I didn’t know how to cope with it then and I am not so sure I am coping well with it now. I am now 25 years old and can say that none of those things people said are true. Time does not heal all wounds. The wounds are still there because the loss is still there. It doesn’t get any better, you only learn how to ignore it. I still struggle very much with her death. Fifteen birthdays have passed by without her. I got married and she wasn’t able to be there for it. My daughter was born and all I can think about is how she will never get to be in her life. She’ll never get to see her grow up and Arianna will never get to know her. So many milestones ahead of my life that will go by without her by my side. Life will go on and all that will be taken with us is a memory.

How exactly does time heal that wound? Everything that happens in my life is a constant reminder of what will never be. I don’t know what life would have been like if she was here today. And it’s probably selfish to think she’d be better off here with us because that’s what would make me feel better. But the bible tells us to think differently. This life is just a vapor. A small time on this earth and in this body to foresee a big, better time in heaven. To have eternal life is the reward we pay for the price of our life. While it is an unbearable pain for us here on earth, heaven promises eternal life but above all, it promises peace. And I long for peace.

“17. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18. as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 English Standard Version (ESV)