Skin to Skin (Pt. 1)


For 2021, I’m really going to try to force myself to push for 1 post a month. I went as far as asking on my instagram (@realhousewifeofkirkland) for ideas on posts so I’m not just staring at the screen and wondering what to type… I was graced with lots of topics and naturally, I’m going to start with the easiest! I was asked to doing a comparison of my skin care routine in Barbados vs Washington.

When I first started to write this, I thought it was going to be easy… mention all the skin care products I used while in Barbados and what I use in Washington (state). But after a trip to the dermatologist, I realized that would be a disservice to you and you should get the full picture on managing your skin in two very different climates. Also, because I’m packing so much into this post, I’m going to break it into two parts. This post will focus on Barbados, and when I return to WA I will post part two, so you can see how I manage the transition.

At the end of last year, we packed up the family and came to Barbados for a “break”. In packing, my skin care gave me just as much stress as thinking of what to pack for clothes and shoes. But I went to basics and considered the climate and my basic needs and what was most important for me to have. So let’s start!


Barbados is WARM. Warmth = lighter and fewer products.


  • Cleanser (Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser) – perfect for any skin type, skin feels refreshed by not dry after washing.
  • Toner (Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner) – Light and a really good second cleanser.
  • Toner #2 (Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Toner) – This is my go-to in WA, so it’ll be in pt. 2. I forgot I threw a travel sized bottle in my bag and I’m glad I did. This is a little too thick for Barbados but I haven’t been able to find a good substitute for my skin, so I’ve been using this after my Indie Lee ran out.
  • Serum (Summer Fridays CC Me Serum) – I used this product first, til the LAST drop and I ADORE it. My skin is up in arms now that I’ve run out.
  • Serum #2 (Sunday Riley C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum) – I still miss my CC Me but my skin is getting it’s Vitamin C. I brought this because I received it in a FabFitFun box (or some box) and figured now would be a good time to try it. Not sure I’d purchase, but I should probably try it in WA to see if I get a different response. It’s a bit greasy for here.
  • Sunscreen (Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30) – the lightest, multifunction sunscreen that doesn’t leave my black skin with a white film over it. I’d also brought Supergoop’s Glow Screen which is tinted, but it caused a white tint on my skin. I loved the dewy effect, so I started to mix a little with the City Serum to get the best of both worlds and that worked. This La Roche-Posay sunscreen has also been in my rotation on lazy days.

Nothing more for me. During the day when you sweat and just feel hot, the last thing I want is for my skin to feel like it’s just got this extra layer caked on top. I do not wear makeup. I fill in my eyebrows and lip balm and that’s it! I believe in dumping my money into good skin care products so I do not have to wear makeup daily. I also HATE removing it!

Who wants to wear makeup in this heat?!? A fresh face can’t be beat!


  • Cleanser (same as above) – I managed to get the huge bottle from Nordstrom’s anniversary sale and you use very little, so there’s still quite a bit after 3 months. And if/when I run out, I packed a travel size just in case I need more.
  • Toner (Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic) – I bought this here to supplement my toner at night. I had to use it every other night at first to get my skin used to the acids. Now I use it every night just fine. But I do not use it during the day, nighttime only for my sensitive skin!
  • Eye cream (Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask) – This is another product I received in a box and I figured I’d give it a try here. I love it, and when it’s gone, I’ll purchase it.
  • Serum (The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%) – Another box item! I like this multifunction product at night. I also think The Ordinary has amazing products for an excellent price.
  • Night Moisturizer (Summer Fridays Jeg Lag Mask / Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer) OK! So I sleep in AC. Depending on how my skin felt for the day, I decide on which product to use. If I think I need more TLC, I grab my Jet Lag mask, otherwise, Honey Drop.
  • Night Cream (REN Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream) This came in a little set with the toner and I quite like it. Enough that I would purchase a full size bottle. I use it at night as my 1 stop shop after toner if I’m being lazy.

I don’t want to call myself lazy, but I can be… So I opt for products that are multifunctional to help me get ready faster and pack in as much on my skin without actually putting a lot of product on my skin. It definitely works for my mom routine as well!

Edit: PACK EVERYTHING. My trip to the dermatologist taught me that I should’ve gotten prescription meds for my eczema that rarely acts up. Normally I’d use my son’s prescription cream, it would clear up and we’d be ok. But for this extended trip (read: extended time in the sun/hot climate) I needed something stronger. This was for my arms. The dermatologist explained that sometimes you need to use steroids for a week to two weeks to help clear any flare ups. Something else happened. My chest started to flare up. Flare up how? I started to get little bumps like it was breaking out. I started using the REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic at night and during the day I added a little sunscreen to protect this area that I never really considered to be part of my facial routine. It started to clear up and become a little happier and that made me feel better.

Basically, your body is exposed to more trying to wear less in the heat. Use your [facial] skin care routine on other parts of your body if you have to calm it a little, or simply do more for your skin besides wash it and lather it with cream/sunscreen. Also, exfoliate more, I’ve been using these gloves daily (available in iMart in Barbados). I never considered all of this stuff because they were never an issue before. But we’ve been here for 3+ months now and the longest I’ve been here since I left in 2009 is for 5 weeks after my daughter was born, so my body isn’t used to this.

I learned about some spots on my face at the trip to the dermatologist. I used to have very clear skin, and over the last 5-7 years, I noticed “dark spots” that weren’t moving even when other spots were going away with brighteners, etc. One dermatologist in WA noted they were something like “freckles” nothing for me to worry about, but I couldn’t settle for that. I thought, and she said, wearing sunscreen will help to minimize future growth. She was so sure they were nothing to worry about, that not much was said on them and they were basically brushed off. Well, one of my reasons for seeing a dermatologist here, was because she was of the same race and I hoped she’d offer more insight. The little brown spots are called pigmented papillomas (not as bad as what you see when you google it) and it’s my hormones that caused them, not the sun. This made sense. It was around the time I was pregnant with my son that I noticed it more. They’re small and tiny right now, but as I get on in my years, and they happen to grow bigger, I can have them lasered off and all will be well. I’m saying this to say, it’s important to go to doctors who listen to your concerns and also know about your skin. Our skin and body compositions do not fall under the “norm” so always get that follow up to help set your mind at ease if you have any concerns.

Until next time,

(I promise to have more pics next time! It just wasn’t going to happen for this post 😦 )

Stay safe!




*I am not  an expert. I’m sharing what I am still learning along the way because I’m still new to this parenting thing too.*

I’m sharing what I’ve learnt so far and what I consider to be important and beneficial. I wanted to say more because I loved the conversation but I was dealing with two excited little people getting ready for bed.

If there’s one thing I’ve realized is a constant for other parents my age, it’s that we are not our parents. I’m not saying that in a negative way either! We’ve all had different upbringings but there are a lot of experiences that we have to in common when it comes to how our parents raised us. 


As I said above, throw them out of the window because you’ll be setting yourself up for soooo much disappointment. I wanted to breastfeed my son, my milk wasn’t coming in and as a first time parent, with only my husband to help, my focus was making sure he was being fed and we weren’t running ourselves ragged in the nursing/feeding/pumping cycle. Having a healthy thriving baby was more important than stressing about something that was only making me miserable and not enjoy him. But that milk came in for my daughter when I had no plans of nursing her! That was a lot for me because I was not used to the attachment that came with breastfeeding. And she was adamant about breastfeeding as she didn’t really like the bottle! I’m still coping with her strong personality 😅. If things don’t work out, don’t be hard on yourself, do whatever is best for you and your family. I’m not saying don’t try! If you try and you don’t feel like it’s something you want to continue with, don’t be hard on yourself. I don’t just mean breastfeeding either, I mean everything. Definitely don’t rush potty training either, it’s  better for your kid to be ready with that! Kids just require you to go with the flow while trying to hold on to whatever expectations you have had that you’d like some variation of it to come into fruition.

Something else to consider… You and your partner are two different people who met in your older years. You don’t know what they were like as a child (hearing stories is different to experiencing it) and you don’t know who your child will favor. Seeing your partners traits in your little person is going to have you rethinking how to parent a mini version of your partner/spouse.

A partnership.

If you’re going into parenting in a relationship, please have discussions about how you want to parent with your partner. Now I’m not saying you will agree on everything! You won’t. But it’s important to discuss how you handle things. I let my husband know I don’t want to quarrel about the kids in front of the kids. We keep it neutral or move to another room and make decisions or hash out whatever the issue is. We also call each other out when we don’t think a situation is being handled in a manner that benefits everyone. Kids are a riot. And after a long day, we don’t always feel proud of how we handled a situation, but accountability helps. I often try to wait until the kids have gone to bed to release all of my steam and to discuss how to handle similar situations in the future. Again, this is a partnership. I’m not saying to draft something up for reference but take note of what you want/expect from each other. Just like how communication is important in your relationship, communication between each other about your kids is important. Do not expect things from your partner without discussion because you will pay dearly for that lack of communication. Discuss who will take a night shift – my husband is a night owl and with our son who was bottle fed, he took over so I got some rest. The same didn’t happen with our daughter as I breastfed her but he helped in other ways. If you normally do pickup but you can’t and you mentioned that you can’t that day, send reminders, the average person doesn’t remember something that isn’t in their normal routine, BUT, don’t nag. You don’t want your partner to resent your parenting style and find you overbearing and clock out when you need them most.

Communicate. Talk. Repeat.

Support systems.

When people mention support system, I think the automatic thought is support system = family. It’s not. I’ve been blessed to experience two different types of support systems.

Family. Growing up, my sister and I spent a lot of time with our grandparents. From sleeping over when our parents went out, to having our grandfathers pick us up from school, grandmothers feeding us and looking after us after school while our parents worked. I have some of the fondest memories of those times. And as an adult and parent, I realize how important they were. Living in a different country away from our family, I miss it as well. It’s amazing whenever we go home to visit to have our parents participate in the way my grandparents did but I don’t have the luxury of having them here with me. One of the reasons I am a stay at home mom is because we don’t have that family support and the nature of my husbands job and how he works. So I’ve found a different kind of support – friend who are family.

Chosen family. We can’t choose our family but we can choose our friends. When you find friends who are like family, it makes raising your kids in this scary world a lot easier. The thing about support systems is what can be covered under a support system. You have your mom friends, who help you on the journey and you bounce things off of each other to make sure you’re not the only one going totally  insane. You have friends who you can add as your emergency contact because you know they have your back and are also trustworthy. They treat your kids as their own and vice versa. You have the friends that bring you meals/order meals to you when you’ve just had a baby, or come over and wash dishes/do laundry/tidy the house or even send a cleaner your way just to ease your load a little. All of this support matters. Also, a person or group that you can declare a no-judgement zone with.


As my friend mentioned above, she wanted to honor her parents’ recommendations. Well, that’s just what they are – recommendations. Someone you trust recommends a restaurant to you but when you see the menu and realize it’s not a place you’d enjoy as much as them, you say thank you and then make your own decision on where to eat. It’s kind of the same here. You know what’s best for your kid(s) and you. You have to consider how you want your child to be raised, what is different about you now than when you were kid and what you want for your child going forward. There’s more to consider – a different environment, different cultures (you and your partner), different upbringings… the list goes on. But this is your family now and while recommendations from family/friends are always great to receive, never feel obligated to do it because of who said it to you, and trust your gut. Some advice can bring you peace. Like when my mother recommended adding rice cereal to my son’s last bottle to help him stay full longer and not wake as often to feed. He was about 9 months+ and a hefty kid that loved to eat. He was still waking every 2-3 hrs and after I added the cereal to his “last” bottle for the night, he was sleeping in much longer stretches and so were we. Then on the other spectrum, she also suggested the standard discipline we grew up with when he misbehaved sometimes, but I wanted to change that narrative. Again, you do what you know is best for your family in your situation.


Love is the underlying reason for everything in parenting. You do everything out of love, even when it pains you to see how your child responds. Shots, punishment, limiting snacks, you name it. Your guidance is grounded in love. Parenting is one of the biggest and most extreme emotional rollercoasters you will ever experience in life. You will question every decision you make, you will have many sleepless nights before they’re teenagers. You will love them so much that you cuss them (in your head) about how they left your bodying what you went through to have them, but turn around and have 2 more babies lol. No matter who or what your child grows up to be, that love will always be there. Never forget it, and never stop using it to guide them. Tough love is a real thing, and it sometimes hurts you more than it hurts them.

Never stop loving.


SAHM Quarantine

I won’t lie.. this shit has been hard. Even though I’m a stay at home mom, my kids are in school 9-3 3 days of the week and 2 days are extended for extra curricular activities, so I had time on my hands.

When the first death in the US was announced, we basically began our “quarantine” from then. It was at the hospital 5 minutes from our house. From then until last weekend, I’ve only attended appointments and began slowly gathering things in the house since we were cooking more than usual and expected the quarantine to be somewhat imminent. But there was a lot I wasn’t prepared for. Namely, feeding 4 people 3 times a day. I already had subscriptions set up on Amazon’s Subscribe & Save, so cleaning products weren’t exactly lacking around here, but food was enough to last 5 days. We would normally eat out/order in 3-4 meals of 6 on the weekend, again, not cooking this often. So if you had to ask me again how I’d prepare for being home for 2 weeks, I’d say buy 4x what you normally buy and don’t expect to have the healthiest diet either. You can’t stock up on fruit. Vegetables you can freeze and cook as needed but we are a family that is heavy on fruit consumption more than vegetables. We do salads more than broccoli, squash etc. so again, nothing you can put in the freezer. But I’m having to go more veggie and purchase stuff we can freeze and cook.

Lots of baking going on as well…

Then there’s keeping a 2.5 and 5 (in a few days) year old occupied all damn day. NO NAPS. Why no naps? Because our soon to be 5 yr old doesn’t go to sleep until 11pm if he sleeps for barely 20mins a day, and our 2.5 yr old makes me take an hour to get her to sleep and then she too will stay up very late. I’m sorry I had to deal with y’all the whole damn day. I’ll put up with tired tantrums to ensure I get an hour or two to myself at the end of the day. There’s been a COVID19 Schedule floating around and I thought “oh that seems like a great idea!” but then realistically, it didn’t apply to me due to my kids’ ages. So I made up my own yesterday finally and had to make one tweak to it today after today’s test run (which went well surprisingly):

  • Breakfast
  • Morning Work
  • Reading time
  • Lunch
  • Outdoor time//Afternoon Walk
  • TV//iPad time
  • Dinner
  • Bathtime

This is exactly how it looks. No times are allotted on purpose. We get out of bed when everyone is up and we’re ready we’ve been asked 20 times for milk. Then there are 2 different breakfast requests going on so no one ever has the same thing unless it’s pancakes/scones, anything other than those two is personal preference and changes at least 3 times. I want them to eat so we have to narrow it down. Then I ordered a few books on Amazon and visited Michael’s just before the quarantine and I ordered more craft supplies on Amazon to keep them busy for the morning work period. This consists of the 5yr old practicing his writing/math skills, and the 2.5yr old drawing and going over the alphabet. Once his work is completed, we have craft time. I’ve made it so that this time is TV/iPad free. We usually have it on in the background but now it’s off until afternoon. On Monday or Tuesday (I’ve lost track of the days honestly) we made play doh and that kept them occupied for sooo long. Like 30mins minimum. If you have toddlers aged kids you know that’s long for them to sit quietly working on something. It was nice.

Button picture activity for 2.5yr old

That time actually passes quickly because I’m always caught off guard that lunch is in half an hour or so, and I start to scramble trying to figure out what the hell to feed everyone. I’m NOT used to this. I usually have to fend for myself not 4 people, and two extremely specific ones at that. I’ve always got dinner covered but lunch for them has always been a tough one. They don’t really do leftovers for lunch and they don’t eat sandwiches. Leftovers are fine for dinner, but lunch is always a killer. I went as far as buying a guide for feeding kids to give myself ideas and options to try to keep them satisfied.

Sorted the pom poms to take out his favorite colors and then we used them for a counting activity. Also, takeout containers make great impromptu storage options for crafts.

The reading time was inserted today because it was a given before but I realized my 5yr old would give me less stress about doing it on his own before lunch than after with the itis. Since my husband is working from home, and because it’s been sunny but cold, I put outdoor time after lunch so it would still be in his lunch time and it wouldn’t be as cold as if we went out at 5pm. After that, I’m clocking out. I purchased Osmo for the kids to give them something educational on the iPads, and that is going to be used after outdoor time. 5yr old was very interested and worked on it for half hour today, 2.5yr old was tired and liked the idea of it but wasn’t interested in working on it properly and wanted to just play with the sticks for the ABC game. I have decided this is a work for her in the morning when she’s more eager to learn than afternoon and more tired. (See how I’m switching things up for their moods? I hope she does better tomorrow though). I take a breather in the afternoon and then pry myself up to start dinner.

Camp Castle printable – 4 pages put together

Now, I made a list for my most recent food delivery order to basically double and give myself easier options for lunch and dinner. In that aspect I feel a little more prepared.

A few resources:

  • I downloaded some drawings and this Point Chart which helped my 5yr old stay on track a little more today from Rachel Parcell. The points chart gives my son (5yr old) a sense of accomplishment when he does things and keeps him in check when he’s not keen on doing activities, like reading after lunch. My daughter (2.5yr old) pooped on the toilet 2x today after reading to her that she had to poop on the toilet on her chart today. HUGE PROGRESS! As usual, pooping in the toilet has been the hardest part of potty training but today was a great success.
  • Camp Castle playmats are great for bringing out your kids imagination, as a subscriber you can also receive printables during this quarantine time.
  • Here is an idea list on Amazon that I created with everything I’ve bought. I do expect this quarantine to last longer than the 2 weeks put forth because people aren’t taking it seriously. Also my kids LOVE crafting and I’m all for building imagination through sensory play.  Disclaimer: my daughter loves all things girly and pink and princessy and fairy… It makes me happy but it kills me how much pink she’s obsessed with. I didn’t even have her in lots of pink as a baby!
  • Also follow @robinpsychology on Instagram for more ideas and good accounts to follow during this time.

It took a quarantine to get me to post again, but you know I post when I have something I think will be really useful to others. Hope this helps a mom or two!