Friday, August 31, 2012

What's In My Bag

It's a long weekend, hooray!! Anyone have some fun plans?  My family is having a little get together tomorrow so it will be fun to see family members from far and wide that I haven't seen for a while.
I love seeing these "What's In My Bag" posts circulating, so please leave me a link if you have one on your blog!

Despite that small pile of random junk on the left, this is pretty good for me.  I generally have a bag FULL of things I don't need, if we're being honest.
From the left-
*Various receipts and coupons.  I try to save receipts for the checkbook, but obviously I don't excel in that department since they're wrinkled in a little ball and spread all over the place.
*Small canvas bag from a little fair trade store in Anchorage called Grassroots.  It's essentially packed with Revlon Lip Butters.  I rarely wear stuff on my lips, but I like having the option to occasionally, and lip butters are my favorite!
*Moleskin planner from Barnes and Noble.  If love the simplicity of this planner.  It's thin, but large enough I have space to write in each day of the month calendar.  I have to have a full month view or I can't keep track of things at all.
*Random tidbits- mini altoids, pens, headbands, etc.
*Fossil wallet.  I love this wallet and got it on mega sale at Nordstrom in Anchorage.
*Lucky Abby Road leather bag.  I pined after this bag for a long time, and decided to look for a used one on ebay.  I lucked out and found one for a great deal, in nice shape and perfectly worn in!  It was the first thing I ever bough off ebay, and I got into a little bidding war winning it in the final 7 seconds.  I made quite the scene over it and kept shouting that "I won"!  Eric reminded me about 10 times that I didn't actually win it, I bought it, but it still felt just as exciting to me.  I love it!

So that's that! Anything fun in your bag?  Something random and hilarious?  I remember finding a newborn sock in my purse months after Henry was born. I finally took it out.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Skin Talk

Good Morning to you!
I've been thinking a lot about my skin lately, and how to better take care of it to make it look its best.
For the last few years my skin has just gotten more and more dull, and I'm not loving it.  I think it was a combination of the dry Alaskan air year round for three years, pregnancy hormones, maybe just being a few years older, losing sleep, who knows.  But I've sort of been on a mission to get it healthy and glowy.
So far there are two things (well, three) that I find are helping, and there's one more thing I'll be trying in the future.

1. Face wash cloths.  I use the dry Olay cloths that you wet and then scrub your face with.  I find that my face gets much cleaner with these than when I use my hands or even a washcloth.  For a while I tried just using my own cloth and some organic cleanser, but for the time being these are what works best for me.  In the future I'll be trying a Clarisonic, which washes the face while exfoliating and I'm looking forward to that.  I hear it makes a world of a difference.

2. Coconut Oil.  Coconut oil is one of those things that has been used for years for skin care, but is now circulating on Pinterest and on blogs and becoming somewhat of a beauty fad.  I usually read about those fads and then just move on, never giving them a try because it's only a matter of time before something else is the new "best thing".  But this seemed worth trying.  Everyone said it's the wonder oil, can be used for basically everything and has great effects on skin.
So I bought a jar of organic coconut oil, and have replaced my moisturizer with it for the last two weeks.  I have to say, I probably won't be going back to regular moisturizer.  You need the smallest amount, it smells, great, and my skin has improved quite a bit in the past two weeks.  Really!  I feel great not putting all kinds of chemicals on my face all night when this works just as well. I've heard that if you have acne prone skin this works well to improve it.  So essentially, it's great for all skin, and a zillion uses.  (eye makeup remover, face wash, etc)  My skin has definitely had a bit more of a healthy glow since using it, and it will be so nice for the whole body during the winter months!

3.BB cream.  Like I said, I'm kind of behind in skin care trends, and a few weeks ago I had no clue what a BB cream was.  It's a cream that moisturizes, improves skin tone, helps blemishes, and provides coverage as well.  So essentially a tinted moisturizer but one that is supposed to actually help your skin not just cover it.  As soon as I heard of it I rushed out to find some.  I wanted to start with something inexpensive from the drug store first, so after reading some reviews I decided on the Garnier BB cream.  I was hesitant because tinted moisturizer has never been my favorite.  While dewy skin is nice, it always makes my face too sticky, and never gives quite enough coverage.  The Garnier one surprised me.  I actually really enjoy it and it makes my face just dewy enough.  I hear the Smashbox Photo Ready one from Sephora is perfect, so I may think of springing for it, but we'll see. For right now I'm really happy with the results from the Garnier one! And it's a quarter of the price, so I'll take it.

So that is what I have for now! I'm much happier with the feel of my skin than I was a few weeks ago, so I'm excited to see what a few more months does.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Ugh.  Today was an interesting day.  I can't say it was a bad day because nothing particularly horrible happened, it was just frustrating.  A day that I giggle about a little bit now, but only because I've already spent enough minutes wanting to just rip my hair out.  You know the type, I'm sure.
After prying Henry's mouth open to examine his gums, I've got it all figured out.  The poor boy is in pain as his last few teeth make their way through.  Of course they save the best (worst) for last.  He's irritable, then happy, then sad, then hates life, then happy, and starts it all over again.  He generally handles the pain pretty well, better than I would I can safely say.  But right now it is giving him this extra bit of attitude, a short fuse, and every minutes is a test of patience for me.
Anyway, today started by waking up early.  Even earlier than yesterday which was earlier than usual.  So he was tired from the get go, but as usual he couldn't possibly consider going back to sleep because he was too excited about breakfast (can't blame him there.) We went to the park and finally met some other parents and babies who happen to be the exact same age.  Henry thought it would be fun to throw sand at all of them, except for one little girl that he hugged and kissed (well he threw sand on her too, actually.)  The more I asked or told him not to, the more he would get this little twinkle in his eye and throw a bit harder.  Great first impression. So we left the park, headed home for lunch which he squeezed all over the place, and then went down for nap.  The boy was lucky when he woke up. Who doesn't love waking up to find that your grandparents are over and have brought delicious pie?  He gobbled up a good portion and then we headed out for the dog park, just Henry, Finn-dog, and me.  We had such a great time playing.  But I looked away for one second, and when I looked up he was squatting and playing with something... I thought "oh please let that be a leaf", though I knew better... I got closer to find that indeed, he was squeezing a fresh log of dog poop between his fingers. Just really digging in. (Enter gag)  There's no time to be a germaphobic freak when you're a parent and alone with your child.  I couldn't avoid touching his hand like I would have liked to.  I had to wear the big girl pants and carry him off making sure he didn't touch his face, and find somewhere to wash it off.  Dog water seemed to be my only option so we rinsed in that, and then used sanitizing wipes in the car.  I've decided to just not think about it, or I'll dwell on the grossness of it all.  I'm sure he'll do it again 234987 times in his childhood, so I had better get used to it now!
And with that, happy Wednesday to all. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pudding For Breakfast!

Everyone has been raving about the tiny nutrition-packed seeds, chia seeds, lately.  Thanks to sites like Pinterest, there are constantly more ideas for ways to use them and incorporate them into your diet floating around the internet.  I hesitated to write about them here since I don't want to simply repeat what everyone is already saying, but they're worth the mention I think.
Like flax seeds (which we use often in all sorts of foods), chia seeds pack a lot in their tiny little selves.  They are rich in fiber and necessary omega-3 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants.  Sounds like something we can all get behind, yeah?  My favorite thing is that they are so tiny that they're easy to put in essentially anything.  Sprinkled in smoothies, on top of salads, in pancakes, etc.  You'll barely notice them.  I have been seeing loads of recipes for chia seed pudding, and I thought I'd give it a shot.  When soaked in liquid they absorb it and create a gelatinous pudding, much like tapioca.  I don't really love tapioca pudding, but I wasn't going to let it stop me from trying, and even when I don't like something I try to still offer it to Henry because he often does like it (like beans!) Anyway, I used this recipe from Deliciously Organic as a starting off point, but my measurements were different because I just wanted to use my whole can of milk :)  
It was literally the fastest and easiest thing I've ever made.  Much easier than even just instant pudding which is packed full of sugar.
I used:
1 can of light coconut milk (2 cups).  I've heard a lot of people use soy milk, almond milk, etc. 
1/2 cup chia seeds (the whole seeds not the milled ones)
That is seriously all that you need, unless you'd like to sweeten/flavor it a bit.  You can either add something at this point (I used a little bit of vanilla, and a squirt of agave nectar), or just keep it plain and top with something later.  
I've read about using cocoa powder, fruit, maple syrup, etc.  But I really loved the simple vanilla with a tiny bit of sweetness from the agave. 
Anyway, just stir it together, and put it in the fridge!  It is probably thick enough to eat after only a few hours, but we left ours over night and Henry ate it for breakfast this morning along with his Morningstar sausage patty (I know, those things together make a weird breakfast... whatever works.)

Baby-tot loved it and I did also (he's still walking around with random seeds glued to his face!)  I'm excited to experiment a little more with these little seeds.  If you have a way you love to use them, please share in the comments below!

Monday, August 13, 2012

When The Change Is A Little Hard.

It's been a busy few days (well, months) so it feels good to sit for a minute and write.
We are still trucking along over here, essentially starting over and just trying to find our groove.  I've found myself feeling confused this past week.  About work and how much time I want/ am able to put toward that, where I'll work in general, school, and how to balance my time while accomplishing the things I want to.  It's harder than I thought it would be.  I have to get the coursework done, I need to reach the zillion hours required to take the IBCLC exams, I need to earn some sort of income, and I need for my main focus to be on Henry.  So figuring all of that out and how it makes sense here and where to do it all has been a little bit of a stressful challenge.  I find myself just wishing I could run back to my old job (I knew it would be the case) and am missing it quite badly.  Spending my time being sad about that though isn't helping anything here, so from here on out I will try my hardest to focus more on all of the things here that help me to feel like we made the best decision we could by moving.  I expected this all to be a hard adjustment, as we had a good life there and a good family of friends.  Expecting it doesn't necessarily help in the moment though, so little reminders of why we are here are helpful.
I know we made a good choice because:
*Henry is so happy already.  He has had zero problems adjusting and I am so thankful for that.  He loves the activities we've been doing, he loves our house and is entirely comfortable here.  He is seeing his grandparents a lot whether we have dinner together, have a date at the children's museum, or just run into each other at the grocery store.  He loves every bit of it.
*We love seeing more family.  It doesn't matter that we are adults, it is still comforting to know that our parents are near by.  We all give each other plenty of space but it's nice to know they're all just across town, and we love seeing them. Also, Henry has more cousins just two hours away and it has been so much fun to see them together!  I love knowing I won't have to miss important events anymore.
*We also get to see old friends
*We are already planning some trips and it's amazing to know we can pack up in the car and go somewhere.  We couldn't do that in Alaska and it was a difficult thing for us.
*Groceries are cheaper, we love that!
*Eric works from an office at home now, and it's really nice seeing him when he pops out through the day for a few minutes.  We also get to all eat breakfast together because he goes to work a bit later due to time difference between here and Alaska. It's nice for now :)

It's strange being back in my hometown but feeling so differently now.  I went away as a fresh out of high school student and came back as a family, so it's like a new place but I keep thinking of those previous years. Does that make sense? I think when we adjust it will be the perfect place for us, we'll carve out our little space here. Here's hoping that time comes soon.

Happy Henry loves it here!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A slightly new look

Ah, it feels refreshing to get that header off my blog.  It has driven me nuts for months but I just haven't had the time or know-how to change it to what I really want; what I feel like represents me and what this blog is. For now, I'm just keeping it incredibly simple, and when I have someone who knows what they're doing design what I have in mind, I'll change it once again.  I'm feeling so much better just looking at the simple title.   Nap time is nearly over and so I only have a few more minutes to pine after home ideas on Pinterest. I know, excellent use of free time...right?

Check That Off The List!

I bought an antique high chair for Henry that I found on Craigslist for $25.  I had always wanted a painted wooden chair for him, but it didn't make much sense to buy one before moving so I waited and waited.  It was the first thing I looked for as we were moving back, and I was happy enough with the one we found.  $25 seemed like a good price for something that could go in any direction I wanted and would be in our home for years.
I originally planned to make it a really bright green or orange, and that was my plan until the very morning when I went to get paint.  I wanted something fun and toddlerish, and less "baby colored", but apparently I changed my mind in the few minutes it took to get to the hardware store.  I ended up picking a light lime green color, and figure that I'll make some bright cushions to go with it in the near future to brighten it up.  For now I'm leaving it, but who knows, maybe I'll take this whole project on again later!  
Color: "Soft Lime"
I sanded the entire thing by hand which was a little fun since I haven't done much sanding before, but was also a giant pain because of all the little nooks in the wood.  It took me about a nap time and a half to get that part done before putting the first coat of paint on!
I knew from the start I wanted to use a non toxic paint since Henry would be eating off of it.  I went to a few stores and at the first I was told that after the paint or enamel dried, there would be essentially no chemical risk.  It was comforting I guess, but I just felt better about picking a non toxic brand.  I only needed a little bit, so it wasn't too expensive.
It took about three coats of paint, and it was complete!  Since I went for a lighter color I will be on the lookout for bright fabric for cushions, but for now we are enjoying it as is!  It feels really good to check one of my projects off of the list.  Next up, gallery wall in the living room and painting the playroom!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Baby Friends

We miss our Alaska friends.  Of course Eric and I miss our grown up friends like crazy, but tonight I'm missing this little guy.  

That's Henry's best little buddy, B boy. They are 4 days apart and have been together constantly from the very day they "met" (1 and 5 days old).  These past few months things had gotten really fun as they started to truly enjoy each other's company.  They played like brothers- getting into things together, giggling, kissing each other, swatting at each other when they didn't feel like sharing, etc.   I know they're just tiny and it's harder on us since we are the ones who can remember all of their time together, but that's exactly what it is, hard.  I miss this little friend for him, I miss holding one on each hip and watching them interact and grow up together.  We will all stay in touch and see each other as often as possible but I know things won't be the same when they grow up thousands of miles apart.  If I could choose for certain things to not change, these two together would have been one of them.  M and J, give that boy of yours a squeeze for us, and a smooch from Henry. 

A Few Of My Favorite Things

I've been trying to get little video clips of Henry recently, doing the little things he does that make me extraordinarily happy/giggly.  While he's a huge ham in person, if you bring the camera out and he knows it's on him, he pulls the whole deer-in-headlights-blank-stare thing.  I always find it hard to believe that after 16 months of having a camera in his face he still does this.  Especially since he tries so hard to get laughs out of everyone, I just always figured he'd cheese it up for the camera but nope!  I'll keep trying though, because I hate the thought of missing my opportunity to get these moments on video before he stops doing them.  It's happened to us too many times already.  Like the day he learned to walk when we were heading to bath time, and he was naked bear crawling like Mowgli from the Jungle Book. On Skype with my sister no less.  I have no video of it and he never did it again because he got the walk down 5 minutes later. Sad.  That would have been a good one to laugh about with him when he was a teenager.
Instead of video I guess I'll settle for just jotting down a couple of the things he's currently doing and I'm currently loving.
He started saying peekaboo- "de-dooooo!"
When we ask who's Mama or Dada, he points to himself.  He knows, he just thinks he's funny.
When he runs toward us, he gets so excited that he closes his eyes/scrunches up his face (often hits something in the process). Melt my heart, it's so cute!  We actually have a picture of this, so that's good enough.
He's been getting startled recently, and pretty easily which is a little sad but mostly funny.  He doesn't cry, he just jumps and lets out a surprised yelp. Hilarious! I'll be truly sad if we don't catch it on video soon.
He'll only eat his raspberries when his little pointer fingers are inside the hole of them.
I know these things don't sound like much unless they're coming from your own child.  But they're the special, silly every day things that happen around here that make me just fall more in love with him each day. Every day it's something new and something equally wonderful.  I love this age!
A picture from a few months back.  The silliest scrunchy face I've ever seen.