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Working Moms: Optician & Mother to Two

Working Moms: Optician & Mother to Two

I’m excited to introduce you to Roxana a working mother of two! This post is a part of a blog series of stories of working in motherhood. I’m excited to share 13 stories from real working mothers. I also really would like to hear YOUR story and I’d love to hear it. Keep the conversation going in the comments & on social media using #wellcraftedworkingmoms. A huge thank you to the women who volunteered to share their stories, Mary Boyden of Mamma Bear Magazine for her photography and Madeline Roosevelt for hair and makeup!

 

You don’t forget meeting Roxana. She is such a force of nature (in all the right ways). She is outspoken and passionate about what she believes in. She is kind, caring and funny.  I met Roxana about three years ago at a blogging event. We’ve since caught up at different parties, girls nights and Facebook.

I was fortunate enough to get to join Roxana for brunch for this interview which felt like the best way ever to get in a catch-up-on-life session AND learn about how she feels about being a working mom. Our conversation also veered into being a mom to girls and the challenges that that can present. I’ll be bringing back some of that part of the interview for a future post!

I’m very pleased to get the opportunity to introduce to you…Roxana!

Meet Roxana, a working mom

Roxana and her partner have been together for nine years. She has two kids, Kamilah and Xamara. She had her oldest Kamilah in 2009. Before and during her pregnancy she worked as a cocktail waitress on night shifts. She left her job as a waitress when, at seven months pregnant, the job became too physically demanding. After having her first child the couple decided it was more financially workable for Roxana to stay home with her than going back to work and paying for childcare.

“So, we did that, it was a couple of years of being pretty tight on money,” said Roxana of that time, “The economy tanked and [my partner] works in the car business and it was really, really rough on the car business, especially like domestic cars. It was pretty rough.”

She continued, “It definitely humbled me at the time. I remember having to stand in line at a church, waiting for a food box.”

Roxana said that while she had been really poor in her life before it was never on her shoulders to feed others but rather her mother’s shoulders. Roxana looked back and remember the different sources of where food came from when she was a child— her mother provided for the family in different ways including brining home leftovers after volunteering at the farmer’s market or from her grandfather brining by foods while they lived in Mexico.

 

Meet Roxana, a Working Mom - A Well Crafted Party

Meet Roxana, a Working Mom, and her family - A Well Crafted Party

Roxana is currently living with her two daughters, partner and younger sister. Her mother-in-law also lives on the property.

After Xamara, her youngest, was around two years old she and her partner were looking to purchase a house and decided that they needed the extra income of her working. Roxana has worked in the optical industry for a large portion of her life and it felt natural for her to look for a job in that field because it is a pretty stable field and because she has a lot of experience it would pay her well.

“We decided that I needed to make a certain amount and I needed to have certain days off just because logistically my mother-in-law couldn’t watch them on Fridays,” she said of her new work needs.

“I had a few interviews and the one that seemed pretty solid asked what I wanted to get paid and what my schedule was like,” Roxana said of the interview process. She was shocked to find that the interviewer was open to what Roxana thought might be a ridiculous amount of pay or schedule demands.

“It was kind of like if they meet this ridiculous list of demands then I’m going to work. If they don’t then I’m not gonna. But, they did… so, I started working,” she said.

She is now at a different office but is still currently working as an optician.

“[My employer is] really flexible with my schedule. I am really lucky. I work Monday through Thursday. If I need to go pick up my daughter or my kids are sick they are really understanding about stuff like that, which is really great,” she said of her new job that is less of a commute than her previous job had been.

“It’s hard to find places like that,” she continued, “I feel like usually when you find it, it is with small businesses which is where I’m at now.”

 

A typical work day in the life of an Optician that is a mother to two

 

After getting out of bed for the day Roxana typically makes the girls breakfast while her partner irons Kamilah’s uniform. The girls are able to get themselves dressed for the day so Roxana is able to clean up after breakfast. She then goes up and does the girls hair.

“I have to do their hair every morning. Curly hair girls have to have it in braids,” she said.

Working in Motherhood can be a struggle... see how Roxana works with her time constraints in the Working Moms series on A Well Crafted Party - photos by www.mommabearmag.com

 

Roxana’s partner takes Kamilah to work. Xamara will either go to her grandma’s house or stay home with her father if it is his day off.  

After work Roxana likes to make a meal for the family. 

“I do a meal planner that I loosely abide by, like I usually I do have all the ingredients. I loosely abide by it. Like, if I don’t feel like having chili that night then I’ll do a recipe from a different night,” she explained. 

“Sometimes even when I have the ingredients and a plan I don’t feel like cooking, so we have peanut butter and jelly for dinner or cereal for dinner—which, actually, the kids love,” she said. 

Maternity Leave, Childcare & Mom Guilt… oh MY!

 

I absolutely had to ask a few questions about some of the topics that often come up for the working mom such as maternity leave, childcare, and the challenges & joys of working. I love the answers so much that I felt it was best to just put it in their own words. Read on to learn about the ups, downs, ins and outs of Erin’s working mom experience!

 

Continue Reading…

Testing Mineral Fusion Makeup on Four Different Skin Tones

Testing Mineral Fusion Makeup on Four Different Skin Tones

I was sent a variety of Mineral Fusion makeup and beauty supplies to try out and invited some friends over to test out the different makeup options and just get a little silly. My friends are absolutely awesome in that they gave me permission to share their before and after photos as well as some makeup tips.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I share more beauty posts including more featuring some of the products sent by Mineral Fusion. While the makeup was sent complimentary with hopes for coverage I only post about brands I enjoy and think you will enjoy as well. For more information about my posting policies visit my policy page.

 

Sponsored Review: Before Mineral Fusion Makeovers - A Well Crafted Party

Testing Mineral Fusion Makeup on Four Different Skin Tones

My friends are gorgeous. I’m just gonna put that out there. They are beautiful ALL the time—inside as well as outside— and they absolutely do not NEED makeup. However, at times, all four of our little group occasionally LIKES to wear makeup. Some of the members of our little tribe LOVE makeup (well, me), some wear a small amount daily and others of our group wear it as they feel it fits the occasion.

We cannot often share makeup however because we are of four very different skin types. Alicia is very pale, you know, that really creamy milk complexion? Joan has an olive complexion. Rachel is also of olive complexion but it is a slightly different tone than that of Joan. Me? I’m basically RED. No, I have a fair complexion that is always more than a little rosy. (See my before photo if you don’t believe me.)

 

Jenni Before Makeup - A Well Crafted Party

 

Okay, embarrassing photos aside…

We made a bit of a ladies night out of the whole testing situation and enjoy some snacks and wine while helping each other find the right colors, put makeup on, and take photos. The four of us hang out often and are nearly always silly. But, sitting together putting makeup on was a bit new for us. We had a great time, but it did feel a little like a throw-back to high school!

Speaking of high school… that was the last time I wore mineral makeup regularly. My dad sold mineral makeup in a multi-level marketing type situation. I had the best products! But, I didn’t find them to be very fast or tidy like some of the compact and multi-use products that I’d find in the stores. After high school time became a commodity and I didn’t really spend a ton of time on makeup so I lost interest.

 

Sponsored Review: Before Mineral Fusion Makeovers - A Well Crafted Party

 

For the most part, mineral makeup has CHANGED since my high school days. The only thing I can say that has stayed the same— mind you, this is a different product than I used before— is quality. I LOVE the way mineral powders cover and sit on the face.

Favorites from the Mineral Fusion Makeup Line

I was sent a variety of items to try and didn’t find one item that I could say that I didn’t like. However, I do play favorites when it comes to my makeup stash. I need items that do the trick FAST and are travel friendly. (I’m not gonna lie, I often do my makeup in my car in the parking lot when I arrive to work.)

Links below are affiliate links. Affiliate links help support this blog while readers shop with no extra cost to the reader. 

Mineral Fusion Facial Moisturizer Intense Hydration — Mmmmm… my face hasn’t felt this good in a LONG time. Remember how I just had a baby a couple months back? My skin has been whakadoodle for the past year and a half due to hormones and being too tired to self care properly. I was sent two different facial lotions and LOVE them both. These are not inexpensive lotions, but after using them for about a month now I know that I’m a life long customer. At 32 years old it is time to moisturize regularly.

Sponsored Review: Before Mineral Fusion Makeovers - A Well Crafted Party

 

Mineral Fusion Makeup Primer  — This stuff makes the makeup go on like buttah. When I have little to no time at all I’ll slap on some lotion, follow with this primer and then dust on my loose powder. My skin looks less red and much more smooth in a matter of two minutes. Slide on some Lip Butter and mascara and I look put together and ready for the day.

Mineral Fusion Compact Pressed Powder Foundation — I’m a huge fan of loose mineral powder, but it isn’t exactly travel-friendly and can be quite a mess if trying to put your makeup on in the car. I love the pressed powder foundation for the ease of use with similar results to the loose powder. Their bronzer and illuminating powder also come in compact form.

The final looks

I had no problem finding a shade that matched my pink fair skin tone. Of course, I usually don’t! I topped my look off with lipstick in the shade Charming and loved the final look.

Sponsored Review: Before Mineral Fusion Makeovers - A Well Crafted Party

 

I was more concerned in whether my friends would find makeup to work with their skin tones. Alicia was able to easily work with the fair foundation and light powder to match her milky complexion.

 

Sponsored Review: Before Mineral Fusion Makeovers - A Well Crafted Party

 

We had an olive shade of foundation, olive shade of BB cream and olive powder for those with olive skin tones. Joan and Rachel ended up using both the foundation and the BB cream, topped with the powder, to get the foundation strength that they desired. However, the results were gorgeous!

Sponsored Review: Before Mineral Fusion Makeovers - A Well Crafted Party Sponsored Review: Before Mineral Fusion Makeovers - A Well Crafted Party

 

Thoughts about the test

I have enjoyed using Mineral Fusion a lot since they sent the products and I tested them with my friends. I have gifted it a couple of times and gone back to purchase additional colors of eyeshadow. Overall, for me, that is the real test— will I purchase after I’ve used my samples? Yes. Yes, I will and have. They are at a high price point than your normal drugstore style makeup, but I feel like the purchase price is worth it.

 

About Mineral Fusion Makeup

“Our goal is to leave skin and hair in better condition than we found it. This includes selecting effective natural ingredients, as well as making our products free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates. We NEVER conduct animal testing, and never will, nor do we ask others to do so.We are committed to sustainability and utilize wind power, soy inks, packaging from recycled materials and packaging that is recyclable.” — from the Mineral Fusion website

Mineral Fusion is sold in some Targets as well as most Whole Foods and New Seasons Markets. I’d highly suggest checking out their awesome store locator tool to find a store that carries Mineral Fusion near you. Or, hey, you can just buy online!

In addition to their dedication to sustainability, natural ingredients and safe testing practices Mineral Fusion donates a portion of sales to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).

What is your favorite kind of makeup?

Working Moms: Photographer, Writer & Mother of Two

Working Moms: Photographer, Writer & Mother of Two

I’d like you to meet Margaret, one awesome, hard-working momma and talented lady. This post is a part of a blog series of stories of working moms. I’m excited to share 13 stories from real working mothers. I also really would like to hear YOUR story and I’d love to hear it. Keep the conversation going in the comments & on social media using #wellcraftedworkingmoms. Margaret supplied many of the photos in this article including the stunning photographs by Lacey Monroe. Additional images are by Macey Snelson of Moments by Macey

 

I met Margaret a few years ago at a bloggers meet-up. We grew a relationship as she volunteered on a few projects with Portland Bloggers— first as a photographer in our Strike a Pose meet-up and then as a photography teacher at our Photography Workshop. I too volunteered to help in a creative meet-up group that she ran. We’ve enjoyed a few playdates with the kiddos and have stay in touch over the years. Margaret is one of those people in your life that you know that someday you’re going to look back and say, “I’m so glad I met her. She has changed the world and I got to be a small part of it.”

 

Meet Margaret, a Working Mom - A Well Crafted Party

 

She isn’t just inspiring or giving or talented. She is also a great friend, a kind person and a empathetic human being. (Hey, even Beyoncé thinks she is awesome.) No, but seriously. I’m so proud to say that I know Margaret and learn from her and her example. She is doing amazing things in this city and beyond.

Margaret was unable to attend the photoshoot with the other working moms and, even though sick and cuddled up on her couch, she let me sit with her for nearly an hour talking about working and motherhood. It was a wonderful interview that I am over the moon excited to share with you now.

 

Meet Margaret, a working mom

Margaret is a mother two, Riley (age 7) and Beck (age 6). The two are 14 months apart. Margaret was in school before becoming a mother and really didn’t work until the kids were around two or three years old. She fell into the photography business and it eventually became a full-time job. Currently she is working as a freelance writer and photographer full-time.

 

Meet Margaret, a Working Mom - A Well Crafted Party

 

Margaret and the father of her kids divorced around two years ago. The two co-parent their children.

“Nothing’s really changed that much in regards to our parenting. Aside from that we live in different houses.”

 

Margaret has shared about her journey with divorce and co-parenting in her online writing. (“Why everyone says we’re doing divorce right” and “Learning to Trust Another Woman with My Kids Is Harder than I Ever Imagined” are two examples.) She and her ex-husband are currently partnered.

 

“Everyone always talks about kids having to live through their parents divorce in such a negative way,” she explained, “they say, ‘Oh! Now they’ll never be okay because they have a one-parent home,’ but it can actually be really good for the kids. AND for kids to grow up seeing that families and relationship don’t just work one way.”

 

A typical work day in the life of a freelance writer, photographer and mother of two

 

(At the time of this interview she lived approximately 30 to 40 minutes away from her previous home and the kids, but she is moving closer at this time so this schedule will shift some.)

On a typical week when Margaret has her two children with her they get up at 7 am to leave the house for a long commute to their school at 7:30 AM. She usually ends up dropping by their dad’s house to pick up forgotten items or to pick up their father so that they may all ride to school together.

She then usually goes home and dives into writing assignments for an hour, editing for an hour, and then another hour typically goes towards reading and answering emails.

“I kind of just switch between those three things,” Margaret said of her work day.

The kids get out of school by 2:40 PM and she likes to get most of her work done by then.

“I”m not really big into making food. I like to cook…I’m just so tired by the end of the day,” Margaret said of the dinner preparations. Her partner will often make dinner for the family.

 Meet Margaret, a Working Mom - A Well Crafted Party

When my kids are adults and look back at their childhood, I want them to know…

“I really want them to do ALL THE THINGS,” said Margaret about her hopes for her children.

Margaret shares that her daughter has had her life planned out since she was four including everything from how she planned on paying for college and medical school (modeling) to how she planned on having twins and hiring a nanny so she could do her job as a doctor.

“To my children, they don’t see it as if you have to make a choice [between working and parenthood],” Margaret explained. “It’s so different from how I grew up.”

“At the end of the day, I hope that they understand that while having and raising children is really important, that taking care of themselves is also really important.”

She hopes that her kids learn to take time for themselves that that they know that, “It’s not selfish. If anything, it is a selfless thing. If you only want the best for your children you should be at your best when you are with your kids.”

 

Maternity Leave, Childcare & Mom Guilt… oh MY!

 

I absolutely had to ask a few questions about some of the topics that often come up for the working mom such as maternity leave, childcare, and the challenges & joys of working. I love the answers so much that I felt it was best to just put it in their own words. Read on to learn about the ups, downs, ins and outs of Erin’s working mom experience!

 

Continue Reading…

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