Heat, Hydration, and Staying Active

It’s the middle of summer in Wisconsin and some may be surprised to hear this but it gets HOT!! We are outside a lot with the kids, workout in a hot garage gym frequently, and always seem to be on the go!

I can be terrible about staying hydrated at times and get very bad headaches from it. This is why I went on a search for a water enhancer/hydration multiplier! You name, I’ve tried it!

I searched and searched for some of the top brands/products when I came across Liquid IV. I had heard of the company numerous times but was even more intrigued when I saw that they have a sleep supplement. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for a good sleep supplement as my sleep is terrible.

Next thing I know I’m not only trying their sleep supplement (Sleep Multiplier), but their hydration multiplier and energy multiplier as well! One of the first flavors I tried was the Passion Fruit and I was instantly hooked!! It’s crazy because you can really tell that you feel more hydrated. It also tastes amazing so I end up drinking more water which is a huge bonus!

My husband has been hooked on the Energy Multiplier before workouts. He was so skeptical when I told him he should try it before his workout and now I’m always finding the wrappers in our gym or he will ask me if we have anymore boxes of it in the house. Men 🤪. It not only gives him that extra kick but helps him to stay replenished and hydrated throughout his workout!!

Right now staying active looks a little different than my husband as I typically have two tiny humans with me. We try our best to get out of the house most mornings and go on walks around local parks for fresh air, staying active, and getting out of the house before it gets really hot. I love that I can throw that individual packs in my purse or diaper bag which makes it so easy to take it on the go! Now that I have had the opportunity to try all of the flavors, my favorites are definitely Passion Fruit & Lemon Lime! I drink them with cold or room temperature water as they taste so good either way.

I will go more in depth in regards to the sleep supplement at a later time as I will be doing a post all about sleep supplements!

I was so excited to see that our local Target carries Liquid IV. They often seem to be sold out (no wonder! It’s so good) but, I have a discount code that will not only get you 25% off of your entire order, but FREE shipping as well!!!

Use the code: KATHLEENPIELHOP at checkout to receive the discount + free shipping. Also, let me know what flavors you end up getting and if you try the energy or sleep multiplier! Liquid IV is where it’s at whether you are active, struggle to stay hydrated, outside a lot, or just looking for ways to up your fluid intake!

https://www.liquid-iv.com

TATTOOS

I’m for sure hiding this from my mom🤣

I have always love to hear the meaning or stories behind tattoos. I have 7 in total and really only plan to get one more which you will easily be able to guess after seeing the others! All my tattoos I gotten I have either gone to Josh at Backwoods or Colt at Blue line except for the one that I got in Houston, TX with my sister-in-laws.

Tattoo #1

Semicolon inside my middle finger.

Meaning behind the tattoo: A semicolon tattoo is a tattoo of the semicolon punctuation mark (;) used as a message of affirmation and solidarity against suicide, depression, addiction, and other mental health issues. I have grappled with mental illness much of my life and I lost my father because of his mental illness. I did get the tattoo while my father was still alive though. It reminds me to practice empathy in tough situations because you just never know what someone is going through, it’s a conversation starter, and a symbol that just because you feel a certain way right now, does not mean this is how things will be forever.

Tattoo #2

Arrows inside my right ring finger (see pic above)

Symbolic to always keep moving forward and looking ahead. Reminder not to dwell on the past but be hopeful of what the future holds.

Tattoo #3

Cross inside my left middle finger

Kind of a basic girl tattoo but more of my “faith” tattoo for lack of better words. Follower of Jesus.

Tattoo #4

Outline of a mountain scape between my shoulders below my neck.

I got this tattoo after my father died. He always said he wanted his ashes spread in the mountains at Wayah Bald in North Carolina so that is exactly what I did. I put it on my back because it is symbolic of things that we carry. I’ve always loved the quote about “these mountains you are carrying, you were only meant to climb” …. I carry A LOT. This tattoo is definitely in remembrance of my father, where he died, where I spread his ashes, and a lot of the things I carry surrounding his death.

Tattoo #5

My wedding date in Morse code down my spine.

This one is pretty self explanatory. I really wanted a tattoo that was significant for my husband and I. I love minimalist tattoos and this just fit the bill.

Tattoo #6

The letters E & J on the inside of my left wrist.

These are my daughters initials. I wanted to get something for her. It is a very dainty tattoo in cursive writing. (About a month later I found out i was pregnant again so now I would like to get one with my son’s initials as well but have not decided on where exactly yet).

Tattoo #7

Three interwoven triangles inside my ankle

I got this tattoo with both of my sister in laws. The triangle signifies 3 of us. There are 3 triangles in total and they weave into each other which symbolizes the family growing and the 3 of us now being connected.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

If I had to go back and redo anything, I would have opted out of both the cross & arrow tattoo and I would have had my daughter’s initials placed somewhere else. Especially now that I have a second child.

All of mine are so small and dainty that none of them really hurt.

One tattoo that I will likely get is my son’s initials. The only other tattoo I could see myself getting would be something for my mom.

I would love to hear about tattoos you have or something you have always wanted to get🤍

Daily Skincare • Makeup • Hair Care

Maybe you voted for this topic on Instagram or maybe you’re a fellow mama who just wants to feel semi put together and doesn’t necessarily now where to start. My daily routine is certainly not glamorous by any means but I like to think I take decent care of my skin and hair! I’ve struggled with acne over the years, I’m extremely fair, and have pretty fine hair, so obviously this is not going to work for everyone! I do feel as though most of the brands I will be talking about are pretty universal. Please know that what I do may not work for you and I certainly do not abide by all the “rules”. I would also like to highlight that 75% of what I use support local female business owners. I could have easily found slot of these brands online. I urge you to find people in your community that distribute or own businesses that carry health and beauty products. I think you would be extremely surprised to find out just how much is out there!

Let’s start with SKINCARE!

I had received a pretty large gift certificate a while back to Brilliant Bodywork (a local day spa) and haven’t looked back since. The esthetician I see actually specializes in acne and runs her own acne clinic. I started on a very basic regimen and within 4-6 weeks noticed an insane difference in my skin. Hyperpigmentation slowly faded, breakouts were few and far between, and I truly felt like I glowed!! I typically go quarterly for a facial and I also get dermaplaining done while I’m there. This also depends on my budget. Sometimes I go longer without a facial but I am very diligent with routine at home. I truly feel like this helps my at home products do a better job to penetrate the skin and work their magic! I use the Face Reality skin care line. I have everything lined up in order in the picture above. I cleanse my face,tone & moisturize both morning and night. At night before I moisturize, I use one pump of the mandelic serum all over my face. To some this may seem like a lot and to some it may seem pretty routine. If I’m going to make time for my skincare routine, it’s definitely at night! Some mornings I wash and just apply some moisturizer and call it a day! This routine has been working extremely well for me. I has occasionally will struggle with a hormonal breakout but am working on that as well (will discuss this at a different time). Lastly, whether I am wearing makeup or not, I always wear sunscreen. I really like the BEAUTYCOUNTER sunscreen! We use it for the whole family. Along with my skin care routine, I try to stay very hydrated, rarely drink alcohol, and let my skin sweat!

Up next…DAILY MAKEUP ROUTINE

I’m sorry but this will be the least bit exciting. Being a mom and it being hot as heck right now, I keto things pretty minimal. At some point I will go into a more detailed and dolled up routine but for now you just get the plain and simple! After my skincare, I mix smaller then a pea sized amount of the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector with either my sunscreen, tinted moisturizer, or foundation and apply all over my face and into my neck. I use whatever concealer I have out which today happened to be the NARS full coverage concealer and apply to any blemishes. If I don’t have any then I skip this step. I brush through my brows with GLOSSIER Boy Brow in the color brown. My brows are pretty light so when I don’t have them tinted I typically always will put some brow gel on to help better define them. Lastly, I apply a gloss or tinted lip balm. My go-to’s are Beautycounter lip sheer in Terra or the Glossier Glossy Gloss. If you were here for a full face step by step, I’m so sorry but this is the end of my daily routine 😄.

LASTLY…. HAIR CARE!

Unfortunately this will likely be extremely boring as well because I’m not going to be giving advice on how to achieve the perfect beach waves or how to get volume for days. I recently got about 6 inches cut off my hair because I just needed a hair reset. I typically always go to Melissa Anderson with Tease Salon it Kristyn Taggert with Salon Bliss. Both are phenomenal and book our quite a ways so i find myself jumping between the two of them hoping one has had a cancellation because I always seem to wait until the very last minute when I need to make an appointment. It’s terrible and I feel like even though I work in this industry, taking care of my own self is very low in priority sadly. I have a couple of amazing products for use at home. I use a lightweight shampoo and conditioner from MILKSHAKE every couple of days. once I’m out of the shower, I towel dry my hair and apply a leave-in product from Milkshake as well! I love that their ingredients are natural and lightweight! Lastly, depending on how sidetracked I get, I apply a moisturizing serum to either towel dry or completely air dried hair. Super boring I know. These products work so well with my hair and they smell HEAVENLY!! I really try to avoid using heat on my hair on a daily basis. For special occasions I will curl my hair but truly feel like my hair is so healthy because I use very little heat. I started getting grey hair at 25. Sometimes they just look like highlights but in some lighting I can really see the grey. I get my roots done and a trim about every 6 months. I probably need to go more often but I’m terrible with making appointments or making my hair a priority which is probably why I’ve always had a love hate relationship with it!!


As you can probably tell, my routine isn’t super elaborate but I am very diligent about using quality products, sticking to a routine, and taking good care of my skin and hair!

As women, I feel like we often out taking care of ourselves very low in priority and I’m working on being more intentional with my self- care. Sometimes self-care looks like sticking with a routine and using quality products!

1st Birthday & Shopping Local

I can’t believe our little guy is ONE!!

I thought it would be fun to share with everyone a couple ways we supported locally for the birthday party. I personally love birthday parties because they are a creative outlet for me. I love the process of selecting a theme, organizing and executing well thought out decorations, treats, and a few special presents for the kiddos.

With Covid being so prevalent this year, we had to scale down his birthday party to just a couple family members. We had a nice, intimate party for a sweet boy and I know he thoroughly enjoyed it!!

When I’m choosing a theme, I like to pick something that I can reuse certain supplies or decorations. For his first birthday party I chose “Party Animal” as the theme, knowing that I had quite a few decorations already and anything I would purchase, I could use for future parties! I also like to include part of the decorations as the present for the child. This year the kids were able to keep all the animal figurines that I used as decor and they had a blast playing with them after the party!!

A couple ways we chose local were with the presents, food, treats, his first year portraits and my outfit I wore for the party!

FOOD

We chose PIZZA for dinner!! Everyone in our home loves pizza including, the birthday boy! We knew it would be easy, and not require much for utensils or dishes. We absolutely love Big Al’s pizza and know it is always a huge hit.

BIRTHDAY TREATS

For the birthday treats, we had custom cookies made by The Smart Little Cookie. She always blows us away with her talent for making these beautiful creations! Not only do they look incredible, they taste out of this world! We order cookies from her for many events and definitely would give her a 100/10. She always has designs that fit perfectly with my vision. They are filled with bright colors and fun designs that the kids go wild over.

On of our good friends made a beautiful smash cake. Her homemade frosting is EVERYTHING. by day (or night depending on the day) she is a meteorologist, incredible photographer, mama, and amazing baker! She really does it all and it is so special to have a family friend bake for their birthdays. You’ll see below one of the big reasons I outsource baking for the kid’s birthdays. Let’s just say baking/icing/decorating treats is not something I could ever list as a skill on my resume 😁

GIFTS

For gifts, we don’t do a lot. I feel like the party is a huge gift in itself and a memory they can cherish forever. I do like to have a couple small things for them to open and one of our very favorite places to get things for not only the kids but us as well is Full Circle Supply downtown. They have everything from kids toys, ethical clothing, non toxic beauty and body care, to household essentials. They really are the whole package. For our sweet boy, I chose…

-A few bath toys that we love because you do not have to worry about mold with them, easy to clean, durable, and fun characters.

-A board book. We have found so many great books here! I love having resources like these books to help teach the children about important people in history, ways they can be world changers, and open up a space for questions and discussion.

-A sweet little stuffy. The kids love dolls and stuffed animals so I like to be very intentional about the ones we choose for them as they are playing with them playing with them a lot!

In his one year portraits, he is wearing pants that we got from Full Circle Supply as well. He lives in these super cozy pants.

FAMILY PRESENTS

Although the pickler triangle itself was a gift for my daughter’s 3rd birthday, we got a “rock climbing ramp” as an accessory to go with it. A local family built our triangle, climbing board, and slide for the triangle. The kids use it every single day! I love that it encourages them to use their imaginations and promotes them to stay active.

My brother surprised the kids with this fun Blocksy couch to pair with the Pickler Triangle to make the ultimate obstacle courses. This was a HUGE HIT!!

PORTRAITS

I love getting portraits done of the kids. I’m not a huge fan of the more formal studio portraits. I love having a photographer that can come to our home and really capture special moments that reflect more so reflect us on a daily basis. The candid and raw photos are my favorite and I’m so thankful that we have had Whitney Wiatt capture our lives from our engagement photos, wedding, business/branding, newborn, family, and milestone portraits! I love how she captures the purest moments and I truly will cherish these photos forever.

PARTY OUTFIT

Last but not least, my outfit for the party! I absolutely love Willow Boutique here in town. Pieces are thoughtfully selected from ethical clothing lines with a variety of styles. I love that I can get staples that I wear all of the time along with a few fun pieces to really spice up my outfits. The owner, Ashley is amazing and takes the time to help you find pieces that fit your personal style and body type. Every single time I am wearing something from Willow I feel incredible and always get compliments on my outfit/jewelry!

I’m thankful to live in a community that has so many incredible options to shop and support local. I had such a fun time putting together this party!

Railroad Family Life

For the past seven years, I have been getting acclimated to “life with a railroader”. My husband is a Locomotive Engineer and has been since I’ve known him. Over those seven years, we dated, got married, added 2 dogs and 2 children to the mix. I’d say I have a pretty decent grasp on this whole thing by now. I did have three other women weigh in who are all moms and small business owners as well.

I feel like I have spent a good portion of the last 7 years just trying to get friends and family to understand our life and I have just had to accept that most will not and that’s ok! I’m glad I have people who do understand that I can vent to and compare notes.

I remember when we first started dating, all of the different terms, inconsistent schedule, and all the questions made my head spin. Not only was I trying to figure all of this out, but I was left having to defend my now husband when he would be absent or tardy to plans. My husband is 5th generation working on the railroad so it has certainly been and always will be a huge part of his life and now has become a huge part of mine as well. That is why I created this list to give you a glimpse into our world.

1. “How don’t you know if you can do dinner NEXT WEEK?”

I hear this so often and if it’s not about dinner plans, it’s about something else. No, I do not know if he will be able to come to game night next week Cheryl! I’m not even sure if he will be home for dinner tonight, let alone next week. His schedule is CONSTANTLY changing and that means we truly never know when he will be home. We decline so many invitations because we just never know if he will be home or not and do not want to have to deal with last minute cancellations and the added stress on us.

2. I literally CRINGE when we get wedding invites in the mail.

Like straight up in my head I’m like whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Trust me, I’m THRILLED for you and would love nothing more than to send the kids with the grandparents, get dolled up, and spend an incredible evening with my husband. The hard part is, I can’t RSVP with even the slightest bit of certainty, so often it comes across that we don’t care or do not want to be there. We care ALOT. So much that we typically have to RSVP no because we of course do not want to be tardy or absent when we understand how much goes into a wedding, including the cost of dinner. Often times we respond that we cannot make it and then sure enough that is the day that he’s on his 48 hour rest and we easily could have made it but how was I supposed to know that 9 months ago if I can’t even predict the next?

3. I third wheel a lot!

More so when we were dating or newly married without kids. He would be away at work with no sign of being home any time soon and I didn’t want to just sit at home and miss out on time with our friends.

4. THAT RINGTONE AND AUTOMATED VOICE!!!

He has a specific ringtone set for when work calls and I get instantly annoyed when I hear it because often times it goes off when we are smack dab in the middle of literally anything. We then have to drop whatever we are doing so that he can go get ready and be to work on time.

5. You might be thinking to yourself “well don’t you have some idea of when he will he called??”

Kind of but not really. We could be headed out to go on a hike as a family and the boards will show that he won’t get called until later that night and then bam!! A bunch of people decide to lay off, vacations go into effect, extra trains are ordered, etc and then his phone is going off as soon as we set foot on the trail.

6. Embrace solo parenting

Due to the fact that I literally never know when he will be home, I cannot rely on him whatsoever for anything in regards to the kids. I must schedule everything as if I am a single parent. If he’s home, great! But I can’t rely on that because more often then not he won’t be home. I schedule our babysitters for months in advance because I have my own business to run, appointments, etc. and I just never know when he will be home. Many times the sitter will be showing up as he’s getting off of work and we aren’t just going to be like “well I know you cleared your schedule to watch our children and were planning on the pay as well but since my husband is home now, you can leave.” Nope, we just keep our schedule as is, keep the sitter, keep our routine and if he’s around, great! If not, life has to keep on. Most of the the kids are camped out at the window watching for dad when they know he should be coming home soon!

Many nights it’s just me doing dinner, bath time, bedtime, etc. on my own and then once both kids are finally asleep I’m left to clean up, get my things ready for the next day and try to squeeze in a couple hours of sleep before the baby wakes up for the first of many times for the night.

7. DINNER

Uhg dinner. You literally can never plan a well thought out meal that they can eat while still hot unless they are already home. Luckily for me, my husband does not like leftovers🤦🏻‍♀️ so that has been fun. I honestly just kind of gave up on dinner. I eat leftovers most of the week. The kids eat whatever I can get them to chew up and swallow🤣 and well, Josh eats a lot of chipotle and Qdoba.

8. Date nights are often on a random Tuesday morning

We can never really plan an actual date night since we try to use his days off for holidays and important events for the kids. If we are both home on a Tuesday morning and the sitter happens to be there then we go pick up a nitro cold brew and stroll around Menards planning our dream home or go drive around neighborhoods looking at actual dream homes. We have amazing parents who also will notice when we are both home in the evening and will take the kids so we can grab a bite to eat together!

9. GO WITH THE FLOW

I’m extremely type A and love plans! I have learned to embrace going with the flow and it’s truly helped my anxiety and feeling the need to have control. “It is what it is” has become a motto in my life and I’m certainly not laid beck by any means but I’ve gotten much better over the years at accepting the constant changes and inconsistent schedule. I’ve learned that I have to create structure for the kids but also be understanding when my husband just needs a day with no structure. He works all shifts so sometimes he has to catch up on sleep during the day and other times he is fortunate to work a day shift and can be home to have dinner with us and get a workout in!

My husband literally built a home gym to make sure he could get his workouts in because the gym he attends is open limited hours and he likes to keep on schedule with the workouts! He has a weight dropping curfew implemented by myself and our neighbors 😅

I probably made our life seem terrible but it is not in the least bit! This is all I know now and I could not imagine life any other way. There are definitely numerous positives that come with railroad life and we consider ourselves very fortunate!

Thank you for following along if you made of this far!