I’m posting less frequently these days. My routine tends to be work-school pick up- dinner – bath-bedtime-paperwork. Long days. My writing itch is usually scratched-a-plenty by progress notes/assessments/treatment plans for work. But! I love documenting the mundane. In that vein, are some things of note.
1. I recently finished All the Light You Cannot See. It was beautifully written. More to come.
2. Two weekends ago, I spent the weekend in Birmingham. It was lovely. Highlights: family time, Galentines day with friends, pedicure + massage + alone time, and my fave restaurants. We returned to DC in time to run to the grocery and then straight home. We were snowed in the next day, which wasn’t too bad at all.
3. Campbell started a new school this week. Long story short, I felt like we needed a change and happened upon an open spot in a preschool literally around the corner (2 blocks!) from our house. Most importantly, she’s now wearing a uniform and looking like a sweet English schoolgirl. See below. Just keeping things deep around here. You’re welcome.
4. Podcasts keep my home life interesting and stimulating. I’ve written about this before, but listening to discussions and talks lifts my mood and keeps me informed. I’ve discovered some new ones recently on the iPhone podcast app (the best!). But I’m also fiercely loyal to Diane Rehm and NPR. I listen to NPR’s 5-minute daily newscast each morning after I get out of the shower.
5. I’m sad to say goodbye to Downton Abbey. (SPOILER ALERT, read at your own risk.) In my opinion, the season started out slow but really improved toward the end.I thoroughly enjoyed the season finale and am left with some calming resolutions and happy questions. First, Edith: No more anguish about how the heck she could watch her baby being raised by other people right next door. Mary: What’s next for her love life?! Sparks are flying with the tall/dark/handsome/mysterious car-loving gentleman. Anna: She’s reunited with her fellow jailbird husband. Tom: Feeling warm and fuzzy about the Crawley’s but headed in his own, independent direction. And the Dowager & Mrs. Crawley: besties. Finally, Carson and Ms. Hughes: engaged!
6. I’ve told you about my obsession with Madewell jeans. I’ve been thrilled to hear that flare/bootcut/wide leg jeans are back this season. So these are on my wish list. (Check out Madewell’s denim donation deal for a discount.)
Happy Saturday! Here are some interesting things from around the web.
SB swears by these pants, and I ordered a pair in black this week (on sale). Spring, come on!
For weary moms, some simple tips.
Great ideas for staying sane online.
My parents saw Selma, and now I’m wanting to, as well.
I loved this list of Kristin’s lessons learned over 40 years.
SB sent me this recipe, and it looks yum.
A moving, and realistic, picture of love at 2 in the a.m.
Tricks for avoiding small talk and how to exit a conversation gracefully.
My new breakfast obsession.
Love these jeans and this dress for spring. White!
Fun print for a little girl’s room.
My friend Josie’s sweet and hilarious ode to her brother John on the occasion of his wedding.
New Dr. Seuss book? Yes, please. (But only if I can keep skipping half the lines and getting away with it. Those books are lengthy!)
Hello out there. I don’t have the fortitude to write a succinct post on a single topic, only tidbits of life strung together. I will say that I am so very over this winter weather. We’ve only had a few serious snowfalls (for me, a few inches), and I’m done. I’ve done my part this season: I’ve sprinkled some salt on the stairs when need be, left the faucets dripping to avoid freezing pipes, defrosted and warmed the car in advance. All this still feels foreign for this Alabama girl, and I will not be sad to say goodbye to winter. Tomorrow, it’s supposed to get up to 50 degrees, and I’m thrilled about wearing flats instead of boots. Woop woop!
On the toddler front, I’m continuing to reinforce nights slept in the toddler bed with stickers. 5 days of stickers = a new (small) toy. This seems to be working for now, knock on wood. We had a major set-back last week due to a cold/fever that lasted a few days and resulted in bed sharing for 5 nights. Ugghh. But so far this week, I’m celebrating 2 consecutive nights of sleep separation. Hallelujah. (I’m all set to use this neat alarm clock to help me in my quest, but I need to obtain some AA batteries. Details.)
There are many TV shows I would like to watch and have the time to watch, but I can’t seem to break out of my routine of watching reruns of The Office, with occasional Gilmore Girls and Downton mixed in. (Lady Edith’s plight is really getting to me, btw.) On my to-watch list: last season Parks and Recreation, last 2 seasons of Homeland, and the past season Parenthood. With some Mindy Project and Modern Family mixed in.
I’m reading All the Light We Cannot See, along with How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. I love both, for different reasons. But I also like the balance of the serious novel and the very accessible parenting book.
going strong hanging in with my aforementioned 25-day detox. I’ve cheated on a few occasions, mostly involving social situations that I’d rather enjoy with normal food and drink. But– I’ve liked the way it’s forced me to eat and plan healthy meals. I am also addicted to the chocolate-almond protein shake involved….
This may be the lamest post ever. If you’re still reading, you’re probably either my mom or very kind/curious/in need of a distraction. Thank you, whatever it is!
So, a few things. First, happy MLK day and SOTU week. Camps and I enjoyed a restful and fun long weekend with her B and Poppy. There was ballet dancing, museum touring, and lots of singing/running/hiding/refusing to hold hands. And thankfully, babysitters and evenings out.
Onto more trivial matters…
- I’ve gone off my indulgent tendencies for 25 days to do a cleanse. Don’t worry, it’s not what it sounds. It’s basically a structured way to eat healthier for a while–eliminating dairy, refined sugar (gah!), and most gluten. Oh, and caffeine and alcohol. I’ve struggled with cooking for the past two weeks, and having these parameters has, so far, been kinda helpful. Mom
helped me make made a batch of turkey chili. Last night, we ate a veggie/chicken stir fry with brown rice. And tonight, we ate Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers with avocado and brussels sprouts. I’m missing my tea in the morning and diet coke in the afternoon, but I know that taking a break from caffeine is probably good for me. Blah Blah. And taking a break from wine is never a bad thing either. I know this is riveting information, so I’ll be sure and report back.
- Baggu is having a sale–40% off leather bags and backpacks. I love their stuff and am eyeing this clutch. Only 3 days left!
- Camps has developed a once-a-week habit of waking at 3:30 am and refusing to go back to sleep in her bed. She screams until I take her back to bed with me. And then she usually stays awake, wants to chat, or sleep with her head (literally) on top of my head. Not good for anyone. These are dark times, people. I know I should probably just take a stand one night and let her scream/cry it out, but we have rowhouse neighbors, and it’s hard for me to put them through that. Any thoughts? This week, I’m attempting a sticker chart if she stays in her bed all night. New Valentines stickers from Target!
- I know I’ve told you, but I’m re-watching The Office. It makes me feel like I’m hanging with my old friends, Jim and Pam. I know that’s lame. But it’s a nice background for doing paperwork and other stuff at the same time. I am also watching Gilmore Girls on some nights.
My friend Elizabeth sweetly gifted me with a Birchbox subscription this year for my birthday. I’ve never considered myself a cosmetic consumer, so I had no idea how much I would love sampling make-up, skin products, and hair stuff. But it’s been pretty great. I’m taking better care of my skin, hair, and face. Better products, fewer bad chemicals, you know the drill. And, somehow, that box of samples always lands on my porch on a day when I need a little pick-me-up (thank you, Elizabeth!). Here are some of my favorite products I’ve received, all of which I’ve incorporated into my routine.
1. Acure Organics Sensitive Facial Cleanser. Gentle and light face wash. Only takes a tiny bit and lathers well. Great alternative to my usual store-bought Neutrogena.
2. Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel. I’ve always heard it’s good to get regular facials, and this seems like the most realistic alternative. My skin feels softer after using this once/week.
3. Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner. I needed an eyeliner update, as I’ve been using the same thin eyeliner brush and powder for about 7 years now. (I know. Yikes.) I like how subtle this pencil is, and it’s less work to eliminate the brush.
4. Whish Three Wishes Body Butter – Lavender. I’m not a fragrance person, though I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who smells good but not too strong when you stand next to them. This lotion does the trick without perfume.
5. Essential Elements Wake Up Body Wash. This is the best soap I’ve ever used on my person. The fragrance is divine and not too strong,. A little goes a long way. And my skin feels moisturized.
6. Klorane Dry Shampoo. I ordered the full-size of this guy last week because CLEARLY. Generally, I like to shower every day, but when I can’t, this dry shampoo works well to reduce the grease factor.
Are there any products you swear by?
Happy Friday! Here are some (random) things I’m liking lately…
I’m reading and LOVING Yes, Please by Amy Poehler.
We visited the Baltimore Aquarium last week and loved it. Best part: seeing the divers feed the fish and hitting up this dive for lunch afterward. Pit beef anyone?
Camp Patton has become one of those blogs that I go to first when I see a new post on my Feedly. Grace is so funny.
Did you watch Downton Abbey this week? For some reason, I found it slightly depressing. (And so I’m watching re-runs of The Office tonight.)
What’s your take on New Years resolutions? On the topic, I liked this post a lot.
Campbell’s really liking the three Cozy Classics she got from my parents this year. She’s already memorized some of the words based on the pictures. A first!
I’m dying to make these slow cooker mashed potatoes. They’re apparently amazing (thanks, Mom!).
I’ve pulled out my Clarks Wallabees after years of sitting unused in my closet. These 10+-year-old shoes stood the test of time.
Below is the second round of what worked for me in 2014. It’s good to remember the good stuff, as the bad so often runs circles in my mind.
5. Taylor Swift. I was annoyed when T. Swift removed her albums from Spotify, but I quickly downloaded her new album on Amazon. I’m happy to say I’ve never regretted it. 1989 has become both Campbell and my favorite go-to music for car-rides and home dance parties. It’s rare that I like more than 2-3 songs on an album, but 1989 is surely an exception. So many good picks. Campbell’s favorite is “Welcome to New York,” in case you were wondering.
6. This Too Shall Pass. We’ve been through some
not fun miserable phases this year with our girl, and in the midst of them it seems like our lives were/are doomed when it comes to eating, sleeping, taking a family walk, or fill-in-the-blank-with-your-choice-of-toddlerisms. I have not yet written about the adjustment to sleep this fall, but I think I’ll spare you. Regardless. It has been relieving to remind myself (or listen to another remind me) that these phases shall pass, eventually. We won’t be stuck here watching our 2-year-old kick and scream in the stroller forever.
7. Exercise Videos. I never thought exercise videos would work for me, but I’ve discovered that they can if I’m disciplined to wake up early. I was backed into this corner when the hubs picked up a travel schedule overseas (and back here) that has left me working full time and parenting on my own for much of the time. Though I would have preferred to go for a run each day, I couldn’t squeeze that into our routine without seriously compromising sleep and sanity for us both. Enter the DVD workout. I’ve been using Pure Barre and Horizontal Conditioning, and I love both. Squeezing in 25-30 minutes in the morning is doable and makes me feel better. On the weekends, I try to run at least once to round it out and release some energy.
8. Returning to Work. 2014 was the year I returned to work full time after Campbell was born. I was so nervous about missing out on any moments with her. Even though she had been going to daycare for a few months before I officially started, I remember scheming about how not to lose any extra minutes that were threatened by my commute. Thankfully, returning to a full-time job both in Bahrain and back in DC has been working so far for us. I’m on the way to finalizing my licensure hours for social work, and feel fulfilled at the end of a long workday, as I pull into the parking lot behind the daycare center, often finishing up phone calls to clients as I drive. Campbell has been very happy with her teachers and schools, both of which which feel more like preschool than daycare. It’s exhausting but ok at the moment.
Happy New Year! Here’s to 2015 and all the goodness that is in store.