We started Nora in a new school this week. Every morning has been pretty much miserable for the both of us because she screams and cries when I drop her off and all she wants is for me to pick her back up and not leave, but I can’t really do that because… work. I know that it’s for the best and her new teachers are awesome and have assured me she fits in perfectly and is just a great kid during the day, but I still I feel so sad that she is in a new place and doesn’t know a single soul… yet. I’ve cried every morning on the way from daycare to work. But today, TODAY! NO TEARS! (for either of us) She has learned that there is a cat that roams the daycare grounds and she finds it completely mesmerizing, so she likes to look for the kitty from the window. I’ll take it.
We are having a HUGE yard sale tomorrow. We’ve been in our house for 5 years and our basement has pretty much become a storage place for everything we don’t know what to do with. But, we want to renovate the basement and in order to do that, shizzle has got to go. If you need pottery barn dishes, rugs, a coffee table, a Wii, tons of random home decor stuff from home goods and garden ridge, outdoor chairs, an armoire and lots more, email me and I’ll send you our address. Sale starts at 8 am tomorrow and everything must go. My email is thedailyjulieblog at gmail.
Last Sunday, Jason had a fantasy football draft so I spent the evening watching music videos on Vevo and drinking wine. My thoughts: I loved T-Swift’s new video, Bang Bang = awesome, and John Legend All of Me gave me All the Tears. I love love. and girl power.
For convenience sake, the last two times I’ve gone grocery shopping, I’ve done it all at Whole Foods. I totally get why people call it Whole Paycheck. I feel like I spend double and get half the amount of stuff than at Trader Joe’s. But, the Whole Foods app is an awesome source for recipes. I think I may have mentioned that before, so download it if you haven’t already.
I have a Julep nail polish subscription (since cancelling Birchbox this has been a more than acceptable replacement. I loveit) and this top coat came in my last box. It totally blows Seche Vite and Essie’s Good to Go (my usual) out of the water. If you want to try out Julep, your first box is free (just pay $3.99 for shipping) and then it’s $19.99/month. The thing I appreciate about Julep is that you are given the chance to see what’s in your box and if you don’t like the colors or products you can skip before it’s shipped.
Other random boring news: our vents our clean and mold/mildew free, roof has been “fogged”. Still need an oven. If you have great microwave or “raw food” recipes, send ‘em my way.
When it rains, it poors. <--- see what I did there
Is it possible for your water heater to break, your roof to need cleaning (because though looks may deceive, it’s not a “green” roof, just shingles), the air vents on half of your house to suddenly become covered in mildew and your oven to die all in the span of 2 weeks?
Five years ago, I wrote a letter to myself on futureme.org. I completely forgot about it, but that letter was delivered today and wow. It’s amazing to see how much and how little has changed in the span of 5 years. I’m going to write another letter to myself because this was such a fun, unexpected email to get today. Here’s the letter I wrote at 27 to my 32-year old self. Comments from my present self are bolded.
Right now, I am 27 years old. It’s August 20, 2009 and I am a marketing/pr coordinator. I’ve been out of my MBA program for a little over a year. The economy is at the worst it’s ever been in my lifetime.
Me and my husband, Jason are trying to buy our first house. We both fell in love with a 1,120 square foot home on Georgetown Road in Raleigh, NC. The sellers have not been very cooperative in responding to our offers, so the road must go on. (Thank GOD this did not work out. I love our current house and could not imagine trying to squeeze a child, a big dog and two adults into that house)
I have no children at this point in my life. And I’d like to have one before I’m 30, but at this point, I’m really enjoying being young and married. We’d like to buy a house before kids so that we can be a little more settled. And there’s still some traveling we’d like to do. I’m a little worried that I might get pregnant before I’m ready, but is anyone EVER ready for children? Doubtful. (I was 30 when I had Nora. If she had made it to her due date, I would have been 31. She was born 9 days before my birthday)
All in all, I’m very lucky to have my lot in life. I love my husband, even though he drives me crazy sometimes. (ha! so true. still is. pretty sure I drive him crazy, too though) I think the secret to life is to just be content with what you have. You should always strive for goals and for bettering yourself, but don’t compare yourself to other people and wish for what they have.
Things I love at this very moment: 1. Mexican Food 2. PARIS!!!! 3. My dog, Cole 4. Frye boots- even though I don’t own a single pair 5. My blog - www.thedailyjulie.com 6. sleep
(LOL4days. All of the above is still true though I would add my daughter to that list for obvious reasons)
I’m sending this to myself 5 years from now. I’ll be 32 by then. Who knows how much will have changed. Hopefully, life will be awesome.
And remember, Julie, if at 32, you aren’t happy with what you are doing, you better make it happen. You’re not getting any younger. (It is a good thing that right now I’m completely content with life. Sure there are things I want to do and make happen, and I’ll get there, but life’s a journey and all that jazz, and yep… it’s happening. I’ve actually never felt more content or settled in my life than I do right now and that’s a great feeling. It’s true what they say… 30’s are WAY better than 20’s, and I’m only 2 years in.)
Jason and I have been making it our personal mission to find the best burger in Raleigh. We’ve been to enough places now that there are some clear winners among the Triangle Burger scene. Here are our favorites in selected categories. I’ll update if one of these gets dethroned. All burgers were ordered medium at locations that allowed it (meaning they ground their own meat)
Best “Fast” Burger:Five Guys. Hands down. If you want a burger with minimal effort send your husband here to bring it home. It will be delicious and easy every time.
Runner-up: The Piedmont burger at Chow; it comes with a fried green tomato, pimento cheese and barbecue sauce. The burger is delicious and flavorful and very juicy. In fact, this was my top choice for a burger until…
Best all-around most amazing burger goes to: The Black Truffle Cheeseburger from the Yard House. To be honest, I really don’t like the Yard House. I don’t appreciate paying $7 for a beer that I know I can get next door for $5, so I always put up a fight when Jason wants to go here because I am cheap. But, they do have good food and a mission is a mission so I took one for the team, fully preparing to have a good meal but not the freakin best burger I’ve ever eaten. I was sad when it was gone if that tells you anything. It’s got house made truffle cheese and tomato-bacon-onion jam (read that part again: tomato-bacon-onion jam) on a potato bun. It is so juicy and perfectly cooked that you will be wiping juices from your mouth after each delicious bite. Oh my gawd, I need one now.
Other places we tried that were good: Raleigh Times, Coquette. Both of these places have a solid burger that is good. If you’re there and want a burger you won’t be disappointed, but I wouldn’t go there just for the burger if that makes sense.
And we were surprisingly underwhelmed by the burgers at Chuck’s, though I did appreciate that they offer two size options of patties. Maybe my expectations were too high? I dunno. Either way, when I want a hamburger, I will be going to the Yard House.
Any other hamburgers we need to try in the area? Jason argued that if we’re going to compare them, we should always get a traditional hamburger (which he did) for an apples to apples comparison, but I argued that if they offer unique toppings and do it well, that’s even better than your standard burger fare, so extra points. Are you a purist or an adventurist when it comes to hamburgers? (either way, he agreed that the black truffle burger from the yard house is where it’s at)
(psssst… want more pictures? follow me on instagram. want fewer words? follow me on twitter.)
I think it was an rainy weekend afternoon when I fell down the pinterest abyss and after click, click, clicking some more, I stumbled upon Bow and Drape. It was love at first chuckle. I am completely obsessed with the funny shirts and bags. Best part? If you don’t see something you like you can customize your own and see it right then and there. Other best part, it’s not a million dollars.
My favorites from the shop (click each pic to go to the item):
“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”—Make the Ordinary Come Alive, William Martin (via monkeychow)
Fabletics hit another home run with their August collection. I am really digging the new “lava” print and ombre styles they introduced. If you haven’t already signed up for fabletics, you really should. If I haven’t already beat the horse enough, the quality and performance for the price is right on. And you can get your first outfit for 50% off (<—-referral link).
Hey Julie! I'm a long time reader of your blog and have really enjoyed following your "story." Anyway, awhile ago you mentioned that your grandfather had gone missing-- just wondering, what ever came of that? Have kept you in my prayers all this time!
I wish I could say that more than nothing has happened, but that’s about it. Nothing. I have my ideas of what really happened, but I’m just going to go with he is relaxing on a tropical island in the sky! There is a facebook page started by a concerned citizen that can provide you with many more details than I have here.
UPDATED: Correct link to facebook is now active (instead of a link to a random and old blog post). That’s what I get for answering questions before my morning coffee.
I just realized that today is the one year anniversary of my yoga practice.
I went to yoga with a tired mind, tired body and timely groupon. Over the last year, I’ve become physically and mentally stronger. I’ve found peace when there has been turmoil. I’ve found strength in times of weakness. I’ve found calm when there has been chaos.
Life is crazy, yo. But yoga has been a constant, gentle, strengthening reminder that we are but one in this big crazy world. And we’re all in it together.
The prep time called for in the recipe was a little time intensive for a weeknight when I don’t really even start cooking until 7 or so; so I made the following edits noted in italics.
3 split skin-on, bone-in half chicken breasts (I had a package of bonelss skinless chicken breasts, so I just used that. If I hadn’t already thawed out the chicken I would have made this even easier and just shredded a rotisserie chicken. I also halved the recipe because I did not need to feed 8 people)
5 poblano peppers, halved, stemmed and seeded
2 red bell peppers, seeded, stemmed and cut into quarters (I used a jar of roasted red peppers)
1 cup cashews (Do not halve this. Make all the cashew cream!)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Pinch fine sea salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
12 corn tortillas, halved (wound up using 7 for my halved version)
1 1/2 cup salsa, preferably hot or medium-hot
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese or nondairy cheddar-style cheese
Method: Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chicken on one side of the baking sheet and poblano and bell peppers on the other side. Roast, stirring peppers once or twice until peppers are browned and chicken is just cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool slightly, then remove and discard skin and bone from chicken and shred meat. Dice peppers.(I did not do this step. I used kitchen scissors to cut up my chicken breasts and sauteed it in a pan with the poblano peppers. Once done, I added my chopped red peppers to the mixture)
Meanwhile, place cashews in a small bowl and cover by about 1 inch with boiling water. Let soak 30 minutes. Drain and discard soaking liquid. In a blender, combine cashews, 1/2 cup water, vinegar, salt and cayenne, and blend until smooth; add more water a tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to purée. (Yes, make it all. So good. It’s more than you need but eat the rest with tortilla chips as an appetizer)
Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Layer 1/3 of the tortillas in the bottom of a 9x13-inch (or 8x8 if you halve the recipe) casserole dish. Combine salsa and broth, and spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture over the tortillas. Top with half the chicken and half the roasted peppers, and drizzle with half of the cashew cream. Repeat layering again, finishing with a layer of tortillas and salsa mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Per Serving: 330 calories (140 from fat), 15g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 40mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (5g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 19g protein
“Of course you are driven to seek admiration, splendor and physical license. But giving in to these impulses will bring unhappiness. You have a responsibility to yourself to stay in the battle. The day you declare a truce is the day you become unhappier. Declaring war on these destructive impulses is not about asceticism or Puritanism. It is about being a prudent person who seeks to avoid unnecessary suffering.”—
Given my post yesterday and the firestorm of controversy/eyerolls incited by the “choose happy” banana picture mantra going around yesterday (my blog included), I thought this op-ed, Love People, Not Pleasure, was a timely, and very interesting, piece. (originally brought to my attention via here.)
Another excerpt of note:
"And then there’s social media. Today, each of us can build a personal little fan base, thanks to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the like. We can broadcast the details of our lives to friends and strangers in an astonishingly efficient way. That’s good for staying in touch with friends, but it also puts a minor form of fame-seeking within each person’s reach. And several studies show that it can make us unhappy."
Of course, this article does not apply to people who have a real, diagnosed depression. Simply choosing to be happy is not a viable option. But, for the rest of us, I do believe it’s a conscious decision we make each morning, each hour, each moment. It’s easy to focus on the things that bring us unhappiness - my spouse didn’t do this or that - why did she lose the baby weight and not me - how they afford to shop that much - when is it my turn to go on vacation. It’s hard to choose happy. But, the negative thoughts in our heads are rooted in the very things that author points out as sources of unhappiness - wealth, fame, and sexual variety. None of which can really make us happy. So, instead of focusing our energies on the things that bring unhappiness, you can flip those voices in your head around - my spouse didn’t take out the garbage like I wanted but he did wash all the baby bottles - she lost the all her baby weight what a lot of hard work and inspiration - they shop a lot but you never know where people get their money from - I’m going to plan a vacation for next summer and start saving now.
Choosing happiness is a daily struggle, at least for me. Back in January, my new year’s goal was to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. In the beginning, it was very hard. And I still have bad days, just like we all do. But as I’ve made a conscious decision to flip the voices in my head into something positive, I’ve noticed that it’s gotten easier. My step is lighter, my relationships are stronger, my mind is happier. I still have work to do, but I like where I’m choosing to go.
Whilst window shopping* the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, I spied this Haute Hippie blouse marked down to $179 from $275. But the Nordstrom sale has nothing on this same NWT blouse going for $68 on threadflip. Holler.
*because let’s get real, even though those Rag and Bone booties are marked down, mama still has to pay for daycare. sigh.
And THANK YOU for all your comments on yesterday’s post. I’m still digesting all the great feedback but I wanted to let you know I read every single message, email and ask box comment. I really appreciate it all.
Anyways, all the pillows I’ve found (and love) in a similar style are around $200, which is just not really in my budget when I need 4-6 and have a child who still occasionally spits up on things.
So, imagine my delight when I stumbled across this etsy store which has a VERY similar style pillow with prices ranging $45-$80. Still not Target prices, unfortunately, but snagging one or two is now a possibility.
Also, let’s get real for a moment. My blog sucks. It is a shell of its former self. In my blog’s glory days I posted 5-7 times a week with actual pictures I took with actual thoughts to accompany them. I know I’ve abandoned the blog a few times in the past, but I’ve always come back because for so long it was a great source of inspiration for me and connecting with people who shared the same struggles, aspirations, and interests. It still is, really. And other blogs are great; just not mine. I really don’t know what to do with this little virtual space. Last night I was going to close it down without another word. But, for some reason I just can’t bring myself to do that. I want to be a better blogger. I want to have that zest for crafting a post. I want that creative process of turning my pictures and words into something (somewhat) interesting.
I’m just not sure how to get back there.
If I think about it, when I started this blog, I was 26. I had a lot of uncertainty in stereotypical quarter-life crisis fashion. This blog was a great outlet for me to vent, over share, and be vain. But, y’all, I’m 32 years old now. I have a career, not just a job, that stimulates me and makes me think and challenge myself. I have a marriage that like all requires work but it’s a true legit marriage to a man I love. We’re not newlyweds. I’m not planning a wedding We’re just old married people. I have a daughter whom I adore and monopolizes most of my freetime. The older I’ve gotten, the less interested I am in being an open book to strangers. I don’t like the criticism it invites, even when those people are the minority. It just sort of ruins it in general for me. I’m too old for that shit.
All that is to say, I don’t know where this blog is going. I don’t really think my life is that interesting anymore (was it ever?). I don’t actually have a lot of time to blog and I don’t really know what to blog about. So, that is where I turn to you. If I’m going to keep this blog going, I’d at least rather focus on the things that you actually want to know about. So, what is that? What do you like to hear about from bloggers? Why do you read blogs?
A Completely and Utterly Random List of Things I'm Loving These Days
Sleep Cycle app. I don’t pay for apps. ever. I figure if they’re not good enough to figure out how to monetize on their own then they’re not good enough. Can you tell there’s a but coming here? BUT, the sleep cycle app is totally worth the $0.99 it costs. I have no idea how it works but the premise is that you set your alarm for whatever time you want to wake up. Sleep Cycle monitors your sleep all night long and wakes you up during the lightest sleep phase that occurs sometime during a 30 minute span before your set alarm time. What does that mean? It means that instead of waking up from a deep slumber to a BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! and wondering where the fire is; it wakes you up with a very soothing sound of your choice during the lightest sleep it can find that jives with when you need to get up. To snooze the alarm, all you have to do it pick up your phone and put it back down. And after about 5 days, sleep cycle has a bunch of stats on your sleep patterns and monitors your quality of sleep, you best nights, what effects certain activities have on your sleep (as long as your enter them when prompted), and more. I get a weird thrill out of seeing what percent quality sleep I’ve had. It’s a real eye opener especially if I’ve had a glass or two of wine, my sleep quality is around 60%. On a day that I’ve exercised, eaten right and not been terribly stressed out, my sleep is around 90-95%. I’ve only hit 100% twice, once when I was knocked out from codeine cough syrup, which sleep cycle did not know about and once when Jason was out of town on a business trip and I had the bed to myself.
Hyaluronic Acid + Rosewater Glycerine Spray. I like to consider myself a pretty eco-conscious person. I mean, I recycle and I pretty much own every honest product Jessica Alba has ever dreamed up. But when it comes to my beauty routines I don’t give much thought to what is going on my face as long as it makes me look like I got 100% sleep. However, if someone else is willing to do the work for me and tell me what to use, I’m game. Enter my new nightly routine of hyaluronic acid and rosewater glycerine spray. I saw a blog post on this lady’s blog and it reminded me what a killer product hyaluronic acid is in the beauty game. It absorbs hundreds times in weight in water aka moisture (Sidenote: I actually did a research product my senior year of college on the properties of hyaluronic acid in synovial fluid, so I got up close and personal with how great this stuff is. Don’t let the word acid scare you off.) Lots of expensive creams tout it as a key ingredient. This combo is so good. At night, I apply the HA serum, wait about 30 seconds and then spritz my face and neck with the spray. I use the HA serum in the morning too but use a moisturizer with SPF (Cerave for those curious). After about 10 days of use my skin is plumper and glowier (not a real word but you know what I mean). Plus, it’s really not that expensive and just so, so good. Not mention that the rosewater smells like I just wandered through a garden.
Goat Cheese, Beet, Edamame Salad.This salad has been my jam. I crave it all day long and then when I get to eat it I am sad it’s gone. I use the store bought steamed beets from Trader Joe’s because anything that makes life easier is a win. I also skip the tomatoes in the recipe, not because I don’t like tomatoes I just like this particular salad better without them.
Fabletics July Collection. I haven’t talked about fabletics much lately even though I own a bajillion things from them because their collections have been kind of meh the past few months. I hated their prints and the new “outfits” were just the same old things in different, boring colors. All that changed with the July outfits. They are awesome! The print for the month is fabulous and they’ve incorporated some sexy mesh looks which I am all about. If you haven’t yet signed up for fabletics, please consider my referral link. If you are a new customer, your first outfit is half off and as low as $25. Can’t beat that.
Jonathan Adler’s Online Warehouse Sale. There are some crazy good deals. I am obsessed with these candles. I already have the fig and tomato (not in the sale unfortunately). They smell so good, last forever, and the vessel is perfect as a cup or small vase when it’s empty. This, this and this would make FAB Christmas presents for the man in your life. And this bag and this one too are killer deals. Jason and I’ve decided that every year for Christmas, we are going to give Nora a small piece of art that one day she can take with her when she goes off to her own home and family. I like to pick things that can transition with her as she grows from a baby to a child to an adult and this is a front runner for this year’s gift. I’m also in love with the price on thesepillows. You can check out the entire sale here.
B12 Shots. I’ve heard a lot of hullabaloo about vitamin B12 injections (which are better absorbed by your body than an OTC pill form of it) lately, and pretty much anything with the word injection sends me running in the opposite direction. But when I dug a little deeper and read about the promise of more energy and better sleep coupled with a timely groupon offer (they are everywhere), I gave it a whirl. I know, it sounds shady getting injections from groupon, but the provider I use is actually a women’s health clinic that just happens to offer elective B12 shots and is located adjacent to a hospital (i.e. not sketchy at all). The effect on my energy was immediate and noticeable, but it was a sustained, happy, and clean feeling energy. Not like the hazy burst you get from coffee. Also, on a good night, my sleep cycle app showed I got around 80% sleep. Since getting regular B12 shots, my sleep quality is now around 90-93%. I already knew I felt like I was getting better rest, but that just proves it.
A couple tips if you want to try this out: 1) I’ve heard some people complaining that the effect only lasts for a few days. This is true. If your B12 levels are already low, you need to go once a week for the first 4 weeks. After that, go once every two weeks for a couple months and then you can transition to just one shot a month to sustain. 2) I’ve heard stories of people paying $50 for a shot. That is just crazy. Granted, not all vitamins are created equal, but the top of the line B12 shot at the doctor’s office I go to is $20. And it’s the best, cleanest B12 you can get. Note, I am not a medical professional; I am just sharing my personal experience. Please make the decision for yourself if this is a good choice for you.
Updated: I can’t believe I forgot my latest discovery!!!The Real Hotwives of Orlando. Is anyone else watching this Hulu series spoof of the Real Housewives? I went in with very low expectations because I couldn’t find anything else to watch, but it is so hilarious, especially if you have ever watched any of the Real Housewives series on Bravo. Angela from the office is on it and so are a couple other people I recognize but am too lazy to look up where they are from. Anyways, it’s really funny and you should watch it, too.
Has it been only a week since I was on vacation? I was on vacation last week, fyi. But so much happened it felt like I was gone for waaaay longer. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
First of all, my dad was ordained as a deacon. It is something he has been working toward for five years and I am so proud that he achieved his dream. I won’t give you the whole history of his life here, but suffice to say that my dad is a living, breathing example that if you work hard enough, you can do ANYTHING you want. anything.
After the ordination, we took a family photo with the bishop, another deacon and a priest. My mom color coordinated our outfits. You know where I get it.
The Sunday following the ordination, we Jason packed up the car so Nora and I could head to Ocracoke Island with my family. He was following us down on Wednesday. Ocracoke is a little slice of paradise on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, accessible only by ferry and prone to hurricanes (foreshadowing).
The ferry ride over was WINDY!
But luckily, they had Nora’s new favorite toy on board, a janitor’s bucket thingy. Seriously, I could not keep the girl away from it.
As soon as we set foot on the island, the weather reporters started talking about Arthur. So, I was on a mission to squeeze in as much vacation as possible before we would potentially have to leave. Hint: we had to leave.
We ate the world’s best tacos. No picture of actual taco because there was no time from when it touched my lips to when it was in my belly.
We beached. Nora’s preference to cling to my lap for dear life was in stark contrast to our beach visit in May when she screamed bloody murder if I so much attempted to take her away from the sand.
Nora enjoyed some high flying quality time with her great grandparents who were down from North Dakota. I did too :).
We saw the lighthouse. One of us was not impressed at all. Smile Nora!
We enjoyed drinks at a local watering hole. Nora enjoyed more than her fair share.
In the end, we had to evacuate Ocracoke Thursday morning, three days ahead of schedule and exactly one day after Jason arrived. It was a bummer, but there was really nothing we could do about it so we just sucked it up, packed everything in the car and cried on the way home.
But we got home where there was ample power, fresh water, and fewer mosquitoes, and made the best of it.
Make sure to check out the MAJOR sale they have going on. There are tons of items from House of Harlow, For Love and Lemons, Jen’s Pirate Booty, Wildfox, L Space, Naven, Chaser and gobs more for 30-70% off plus you can get an extra 25% off with the code EXTRA25.
Mistake 1: Picking up Nora from daycare for her 15 month check up 20 minutes before snack time (and her doctor’s appointment).
Mistake 2: Arriving at the pediatrician’s office, which is only about 15 minutes away, 10 minutes late and realizing the diaper bag which held extra diapers, extra toys and extra SNACKS is at home. Search the car for snack options only to come up with a pack of old cough drops. Not a good snack for a 15 month old.
Mistake 3: Not letting Nora take the trains from the lobby back to the exam room.
Mistake 4: Taking the sweet nurse up on her offer for a can of chocolate pediasure to give Nora something to appease the non-stop screaming which started 5 minutes, but felt like a million, prior and was causing everyone’s ears to bleed.
Mistake 5: Carefully feeding Nora sips said can of pediasure with a makeshift bib of paper towels covering her mostly nude body save for the diaper. No straws available.
Mistake 6: Setting the can of chocolate pediasure on the upholstered bench while I get up to get more paper towels for a new makeshift bib since current makeshift bib is now soaked with chocolate pediasure.
Nora is screaming between all of these mistakes, btw.
Mistake 7: Sitting back down on the upholstered bench with child in lap which knocks can of chocolate pediasure on the floor.
Put screaming/hungry baby who only wants her drink but can’t have it back on the floor to get paper towels. Hurry and clean up mess before pediatrician or nurse walks in.
Mistake 8: There is about half a can of pediasure left since Nora got 2 sips and the rest was on the floor. At daycare they give them open cups of water during snack time and I’ve actually seen Nora successfully take a sip from an open cup. So, what the heck? Back to mistake: Give small child with under developed motor skills can to drink from which she immediately pours all over her entire face, body, my dress, and my shoes.
Pediasure is gone. RIP. Child still screaming and goes back on the floor for round 2 of speed-clean-the-chocolate-pediasure-before-the-pediatrician-or-nurse-walks-back-in. I win that round (again) and go to give child a quick rinse in the sink since her bare body is covered in sticky, and now drying to a crust, pediasure. Child still screaming. Ask nurse for a new diaper since I have approximately zero clean diapers.
In the meantime, child takes the occasional break from screaming.
(Please note the blue top of the pediasure in her hand and the empty bottle in the upper left corner. Also, relevant are the soaked and sticky shoes that I had to put back on to walk out of the office.)
Pediatrician arrives and brings with her some crackers. God is a pediatrician.
Lesson learned: Never forget the diaper bag. ever. In fact, have a second emergency diaper bag in the car at all times. I also should always have a pack of crackers in my purse. Forever.
Threadflip - A Review from a Shopper's Perspective
Since I first mentioned my closet on Threadflip, I’ve become completely obsessed with the website and the app (which is very user friendly). There are some really good deals to be had on very good quality designer goods. I’ve made a couple purchases and both have been pretty seamless.
When you shop on Threadflip, you are actually purchasing from multiple sellers. Unless you purchase from someone who has NOT opted to use Threadflip’s “full service” option (like me), then you are actually purchasing the item directly from Threadflip who serves as the 3rd party verifier, shipper, and order-manager of the item. They ensure that the item is clean and its quality is honestly represented. When you purchase an item, you request is submitted for approval to the vendor. If it’s from someone who did not use the full service option, this step basically ensures that the item is still available before payment is processed. Once the order is approved, the vendor (or threadflip) ships and packages your item. I’ve never had to pay extra for shipping either. And Threadflip often runs flash sales where you can get an extra 25% off the list price (zero exclusions). Plus the app sends you push notifications when items you “love” drop in price.
Threadflip uses data on purchasing and pricing patterns to incrementally reduce prices of items over time. My favorite way to shop is by clicking the heart on an item to “love” it, and it is added to the items I love (see above). and I can easily check on them to see if prices drop over time. However, if you REALLY love something, it’s best to go ahead and buy it because there is only one. Like these miu miu sunnies I scored, practically new, for $30 <—— not a typo. I couldn’t click add to cart fast enough!
If you see something you like, but it’s more than you want to pay, you can also make an offer on the item. If your offer is accepted, the item is yours. If it’s rejected, then well, it’s not yours. Not for that price anyway.
Also, if you find sellers you like, you can add them to people you follow. Typically, when I find someone who shares my shoe, dress or pant size and I like their style, I will follow them. It makes it easy to find items that I might like that will probably fit. Like this lady who regularly sells her barely used designer shoes and just happens to have size 9 feet like me.
Threadflip’s site and app posts items in a feed that is updated in real time when the item goes live. So, you can check it via the main page on a regular basis to see what’s new without having to sift through a million categories to find things you like. I like to scroll through and “love” on the latest and greatest items in the morning while I drink my coffee. Then I’ll wait for a 20% or 25% off code (provided almost weekly) and snag what I’m most interested in.
If this sounds like something you are interested in, and I would definitely recommend it, you can sign up using my link and get $5 off your first purchase.
There are major sales brewing around the internet with tons of summer clothes going up for grabs as retails start to prepare for fall. Fall seems so far away and I’m okay waiting for it a little while longer, but in the meantime I’ll be sure to snatch up some goodies at close to Forever 21 prices (sometimes). Dolce Vita is the winner in the world of sales today. This is a MAJOR one!
Popping in again real quick to let you know that Parker is running a sale through tomorrow to get and extra 30% off sale items. I promise one day I’ll post more than sharing internet sales but until that day comes here ya go:
I habitually get the song’s name wrong. I’m often tempted to call it “Carolina on My Mind.” But Carolina isn’t just on Taylor’s mind, it’s in it. And that small word — in — changes things. Because for those of us lucky enough to claim this humid pie slice of a state as our own, North Carolina isn’t just experienced by our senses — it actually becomes our senses. Conditioned by longleaf pines, pulled pork, Cheerwine, basketball, and hurricanes, our brains become so imbued by home that once we cross state lines, the rest of the world appears to us filtered through some unshakable and smoky North Carolina lens. Other places may appear beautiful, for sure, but it’s impossible for a North Carolinian to not, at some point, long for life to come back into focus through our permanent native spyglass. I guess this is how homesickness works for anyone from anywhere, but that’s only a guess. I can only vouch for North Carolina. So is it presumptive of me to say this is what a 19-year-old North Carolina songwriter was getting at when he found himself in England, missing his father, his dog Hercules, and his pumpkin collection back in Chapel Hill? Heck no. It didn’t matter that James Taylor was hanging out with The Beatles. The bigger issue was that he wasn’t in North Carolina.
Since all my eye makeup went to makeup heaven after I got pink eye, I’ve had to replace every single thing. The partially used pots of bare minerals, the barely empty quads of becca (who? check ‘em out. you won’t be disappointed), the hardly swiped tubes of a million different mascaras depending on whether I’m trying to achieve length, curl volume, waterproof-ness or any combination of the above, are all lying dead in the bottom of some landfill, probably give an unsuspecting rat pink eye.
As a I rebuild my eye makeup collection, I’ve had to be very judicious about my purchases. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the perfect smokey eye. I’ve started my collection 2.0 with products that are pretty versatile and I’ve had a lot of success. Here are my tried and true favorites plus a stand out, new-to-me mascara. Read on:
Benefit creaseless cream eyeshadow. I forgot how much I love this eye shadow. It goes on so easy and stays put all day. I usually just apply it with my finger. It’s so good. My favorite current colors are birthday suit and no pressure. They are actually pretty identical but no pressure is a bit more mauve. I think birthday suit is perfect for everyone and such a great color for daytime wear.
Urban Decay 24/7 glide-on eye pencil. I was actually thisclose to getting the Naked palette until I realized I have no idea how to work eleventybillion colors of eyeshadow. But, thankfully in perusing the Urban Decay display I remembered how much I love this eyeliner. Bourbon, a dark glimmering brown, is my go-to color but they are all really great depending on the look you are going for.
And finally, the rookie of the year award goes to L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in carbon black. Y’all. Y’all!!!!! I am a bit of a mascara snob and trust me, I have tried them ALL. This one is hands down the best and beats out any expensive Dior or YSL mascara I have ever tried. EVER. It’s so good and it’s $6. Add it to your next Amazon purchase and be amazed.
(and if you can’t take the word of a random blogger, check out all the reviews)
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can’t touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them, They say they still can’t see. I say, It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing, It ought to make you proud. I say, It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need for my care. ’Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
I bet you thought I’d forgotten right? Like, I would do this once and then completely forget and never do it again, right? Like, I am some kind of person who says I will do something and then doesn’t because I forgot or had nothing to say or was busy picking up banana pieces from the floor after my toddler, nope can’t do it, baby threw them on the ground, right?
So, guess what? I DID get pink eye!
(not my eye. but close. I hope you already ate.)
Last Tuesday, like every other Tuesday, I was at work. But unlike every other Tuesday, I had spent the previous evening staying up late watching season 3 of Game of Thrones. My eye felt a little bit funny but I chalked it up to a lack of sleep from being completely pissed off by a wedding that I will not reveal but if you have seen it you know what I am talking about. It’s a week later and I’m still pissed.
Back to last Tuesday: Come 5:30 I get home. We, I mean Jason, is packing up the car while I feed Nora some dinner because the plan is to put Nora to “bed” in her car seat while we drive 3 hours through the night to the beach where we would spend the next 5 days. My eye is now starting to secrete strange liquidy globby gook. It immediately hit me - PINK EYE. Thanks be to God who works in mysterious ways because I actually had Nora’s prescription pink eye drops that I never gave her because she responded so well to her oral antibiotic. So, her eye drops were now my eye drops.
I spent the whole 5 days at the beach with pink eye, no makeup allowed, and dry scaly hands from washing them all the time. Thank god for sunglasses and instagram filters or else my pictures wouldn’t have turned out at all.
If you have any good eye makeup recommendations, let me know. I’m in need of new eyeshadow, mascara and eye liner. Preferably something I can wear all the time. I’m leaning toward the Naked palette from Urban Decay but I’m worried I’d only wear a couple of the colors. If you have it, is it worth it. As far as mascara I could go any which way. I have no lash loyalty, except I expect miracles.
At the risk of only sharing the shiny moments of life here on the blog, I figured I’d start a new regular/semi/quasi/whenever-I-remember series called Hot Mess Mondays. These posts are dedicated to those moments that are, well… less than stellar.
Here we go.
Last Saturday was a picture perfect day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the smell of fresh apple pie was wafting from the window sill. I made that last one up. Jason and I decided that we should go out for a mid afternoon beer at our favorite watering hole. And bonus! There is a fountain there that Nora is sure to love. The girl is obsessed with water. So, we get there, get settled, and Nora even gets her own chair and is very pleased with herself #independentwoman. Drinks are ordered: Bell’s Oberon for me, Kona Longboard Lager for Jason, whole milk for Nora. Drinks arrive. Everyone is sipping their respective beverages and no one is having a temper tantrum.
I get the brilliant idea that I should take Nora to the fountain. She will love it. Well, flash forward 0.003 seconds and all she wants to do is get in the fountain. Cue the next 20 minutes of Jason and I switching out who is in charge of restraining her from the fountain while Nora screams and we attempt to hurry and finish our drinks and damnitwhereisthewaitressweneedourcheckNOW. Thank GOD the sound of the fountain somewhat drowned out her screaming. Sorry honey, you can’t get IN the fountain. You will drown and die. Our afternoon outing was a big fat flop. I knew the day was coming when I would mourn the loss of our ability to spontaneously head out and do whatever we want with child in tow. That day was May 17, 2014. RIP.
Let’s add a little bonus to this story so I can also tell you that Nora’s antibiotic, which she has been on for five days out of 10, has fully kicked in and what comes out in her diapers is not even a match for the probiotics she’s simultaneously taking. We went through three outfit changes in 45 minutes this morning and I swear her diapers are laughing at me.
“We now know that 24 hours without sleep, or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .1 percent. We would never say, ‘This person is a great worker! He’s drunk all the time!’ yet we continue to celebrate people who sacrifice sleep for work.”—
Mean Girls celebrated their 10 year anniversary this year. But can we talk about what’s really important here? Next year, Clueless will be 20 years old. That’s old enough to vote and almost old enough to legally drink in most states, definitely Beverly Hills.
When Clueless came out, I was a pubescent 13 year old who had, just the year before, graduated from no longer having to order off the kiddie menu. My life before me was consumed with sitting by the radio to press record when my favorite song came on (personal mix tapes meant something back then because it took HOURS to make one), getting every single flavor of lipsmacker (peanut butter and grape jelly were my favorites,worn together obvi), and scoping out the JC Penney weeklies in the Sunday paper for the latest threads I would use any bit of money I could get to buy.
In honor Clueless’ almost anniversary, here’s a little trip down memory lane. Happy Friday.
Mel: What the hell is that?
Cher: A dress.
Mel: Says who?
Cher: Calvin Klein.
Amber: Ms. Stoeger, my plastic surgeon doesn’t want me doing any activity where balls fly at my nose.
Nora woke up this morning with what I thought was pink eye. I did what I thought I should and kept every living thing away from her and preemptively mourned the death of all my eye makeup. Because when you think your child has pink eye, it’s basically a 100% chance that you think you will get it too.
One doctor appointment later, it’s not pink eye. It’s an ear infection plus mucus coming out of her eyeball.
I spotted this Dolce Vita romper a couple weeks ago and was immediately smitten with it. As far as rompers go, it’s one I would be willing to undress when I have to go to the bathroom for. However, I was not smitten with the $242 price tag.
But then, THEN!!!!, today I spotted this nearly identical version at my favorite Raleigh place to stock up on the latest fashion, Vestique, for exactly $200 less. It’s $42 and a dead ringer for the DV version.
Look at all that money I just saved you. You’re welcome.
I woke up late. Nora pooped in the car on the way to daycare. There are no groceries in my house and my gas tank is empty (literally and figuratively). It’s Monday in every sense of the word. So, all I’ve got for ya are some sales that are currently going on and I thought you should know about.