Free Mother’s Day Gift Basket Giveaway!

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As many of you already know, the POPPED family includes this blog and Popped Handmade, my up-and-coming natural skin care business. I encourage all of my POPPED ladies to enter Popped Handmade’s Mother’s Day Gift Basket Giveaway! It’s completely free, but it is only for lovely ladies living in the Chi or the surrounding areas because you will need to pick up your basket if you win. The basket will include Popped Handmade luxurious, whipped body butter and some yummy treats for your sweet tooth, including Treasure Corn Oreo-flavored popcorn and Mickii’s Sinfully Semi chocolate chip cookies. Check out the Popped Handmade Facebook page for info on how to enter and for more details! Good luck!

New Dreams

It’s 24 days until my husband and I will participate in the March of Dimes March for Babies in honor of the life and death of our son Izzy. I’m pushing myself to write and post on the blog each day until the walk—some days a little and maybe some days a lot—in hopes of shedding light on issues like miscarriage and infant loss so that other women who go through these types of things know that they’re not alone. Please share this post generously to spread awareness!

After I received the terminal prognosis for Izzy when I was about 19 weeks pregnant, I not only started to mourn the loss of a child that I desperately wanted, but also the loss of a dream. I imagined that I would be the mom at the park pushing a stroller with a newborn, while a preschooler and a toddler tagged along on both sides. I wanted stair-stepper children—one right after the other. I wanted to just push them all out now so that I could focus on myself later, professionally and personally.

But after a first trimester miscarriage and Izzy being diagnosed with bilateral renal agenesis (Potter’s Syndrome) right after that, I began to wonder if my dream of a swarm of little people hanging on me would come true. That’s when I started to dream a new dream—the dream of myself as a small business owner doing something creative that would eventually impact the lives of others someday through providing jobs and philanthropy programs.

On November 6, 2015 when I was about 22 weeks pregnant, Popped Handmade made its debut. It’s a luxury, yet affordable, line of natural skincare products for the everyday positively optimistic and powerful person. So far, I’ve only been focusing on whipped body butters, but my goal is to have a comprehensive line of moisturizers, scrubs, soaps, and more. Popped Handmade has kept me sane through all of the disappointment I’ve felt over the past few months. It’s a work in progress, but I’m so grateful for it. It has shown me that there are always new dreams to pursue even when one particular dream doesn’t seem to be working out. 

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The top picture is my table set-up at my very first vendor fair for Popped Handmade on November 6, 2015. The picture at the bottom is my set-up at a recent vendor fair on March 16, 2016. It’s only been 4 short months, but I feel like I’ve learned so much and have made so much progress. I’ve come a mighty long way 😉

 

My family and I would love for you to donate to our March for Babies campaign! Any amount no matter how small may help other families of premature infants. Click here and know that we’re so thankful for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Lush Cranberry Festive Face Mask

Greetings all my Popped Ladies & Gentlemen! You all have been on my mind more than you know. It’s been a while since I’ve published a full blog post. I’ve been preoccupied with launching my handmade, natural beauty product business, Popped Handmade, so I’ve been out at various vendor fairs or hunting for my next one via Facebook.

One cold Sunday evening after one of these vendor fairs, my husband decided to be spontaneous and suggested that we take our little family of three downtown to have dessert at Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. Now since we hadn’t chilled downtown as a couple or family since 19-hundred-insert-a-year-a-long-time-ago, I closed my mouth (because it was hung open) and said, “Most definitely!”

After our delicious and diabetic-coma-inducing brownie sundae, we walked to Water Tower Place where I stumbled on the most beautiful display window I’d seen in a long time. There were handmade soaps of different colors, fresh face masks sitting on top of ice cubes in a long cooler, and people inside who were smelling beauty products and trying creams on. I was in front of the Lush store (Lush Handmade Cosmetics). My husband encouraged me to go in and I assured him that I wasn’t buying anything; I was only going in to get a little inspiration for new products and recipes to try out for my new, little side-hustle.

However, this incredibly gifted saleswoman of a sista got a hold of me and started rubbing different face and body scrubs on my hands and I walked out not only inspired to make my own beauty concoctions (and maybe even apply for a job at Lush), but also with a little red and white Lush Handmade Cosmetics bag with their Cranberry Festive Face Mask (and a few free samples of other products!) inside.

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I must say that I really had no interest in buying a face mask. My skin is in better condition now than it’s probably ever been (except for maybe pre-puberty). I used to struggle with managing acne as a teenager and even in my early-mid twenties, I dealt with a few flare-ups around that special time of the month that all of us ladies love. But now, thanks to a few different things that I will share in a separate post, my skin is doing great in my opinion. It looks bright, soft, and smooth with the exception of a few acne scars. However, because my Lush homegirl was so great at her job, I decided to buy something so I chose the Cranberry Festive Face Mask.

Things I Love about the Lush Cranberry Festive Face Mask:

  • Love, love, love the SMELL of this stuff. It has a floral and kinda fruity fragrance. It has a very feminine and pampering scent.
  • Liked the thick, mud-like consistency of the mask. This made it easy to put on and spread without making a mess.
  • Really liked how my face felt after rinsing it off. My skin felt soft, but clean. I didn’t have that really tight feeling that I’ve had with some facial masks in the past.

Things That I Wasn’t Too Crazy About:

  • My face felt a little too tingly when I first put the mask on. I felt a somewhat burning sensation for a few seconds, but the sensation went away after a while. I know that my skin has been very sensitive lately, even after washing I get some redness on my cheeks every now and then, so I don’t think this necessarily says anything bad about the product.
  • As the mask dried, little powdery crumbles of the mask fell off of my face every time I moved my facial muscles. This wasn’t a big deal because I was able to brush it right off my shirt and I was only in PJs anyway but I just thought I’d mention it.
  • However, the major concern that almost stopped me from buying the mask in the first place is the fact that “talc” is in the ingredient listing. Talc has been under scrutiny by a few organizations in the natural cosmetic industry for sometime because it can possibly be contaminated with asbestiform fibers, which has definitely been linked to cancer. While the FDA considers talc safe in cosmetics, talc is restricted/prohibited in Canada because of organ system toxicity concerns. According to an article by the American Cancer Society, talc used in U.S. cosmetics has been asbestos-free since the 1970s. However, there is still a possible connection to ovarian cancer for those ladies that still put talcum powder (baby powder) in their underwear (if it were to travel up the vagina).
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Overall, I love that for the most part Lush tries to use all-natural ingredients that are good for your skin and overall health (the fact that my mask needed to be kept in the fridge shows that it wasn’t loaded up with synthetic preservatives), but the company does use a few questionable ingredients from time-to-time (parabens come to mind here).

Yet, as someone who continues to research ingredients and create recipes without any of the questionable stuff, I can see their dilemma. They produce mostly natural beauty products on a mass scale so it has to be extremely difficult to keep products free of bacteria/yeast/fungi, aesthetically appealing, and convenient to use while still making enough profit to grow the business, use fair-trade/ethically-sourced ingredients, and keep people employed. I applaud them for what they’re trying to do and have been doing for the past 20-plus years.

Have any of you tried the Lush Cranberry Festive Face Mask? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook 😉