Monday, June 3, 2019

June Goals

Guys, literally LOL with me and these goals.  Why do I bother!

A review of May:

.: 1 :.

Follow the Clean Mama schedule for the full month.  They say it takes a month to make a habit so fingers crossed because I need to get my life in check!   Yea, this is a big NO.  I did it a few times but mostly just struggled to keep the house tidy. 

.: 2 :.

Complete the Feeding Littles toddlers course  NOPE

.: 3 :.

Stay off of my phone more when I'm with Haddie other than taking photos.  I notice that I've been spending wayyyy too much time on my phone as she gets better at independent play and I want to nip that in the bud!  I think I did a better job at this.  I feel like I've actually been online a lot more than usual, but I have been trying to do it during her naps only.

.: 4 :.

Take Haddie to at least one fun outing (with other kids) a week I didn't take her to official things like library times, but we made it to dinners/lunches, parks, family events so I'm counting it. 

.: 5 :.

Blog once a week



June goals:

1) Order all of my Father's Day gifts by the end of this week.

2) Finish the Feeding Littles Course

3) Get the entire house organized.  Yes, the entire house.

4) Pack in advance for NYC/RI and plan the trip so that it is as stress-free as possible.  Stick to/create feeding, nap, and bedtime schedule on the trip so Haddie's in good spirits and the trip isn't as exhausting as usual.

I'm working on building my Instagram to that I can start utilizing it as an income stream but also boost my blog so my next couple of goals are Instagram-related:

5) Get to 500 followers

6) Post a photo daily

7) Start doing more DC-related posts including utilizing old photos with fresh edits

8) Start using Plann to help me with Instagram

Blogging goals

9) Blog 3x - a nice, achievable goal!

10) Write a post on the books I've read so far in 2019

11) Find yet another new theme.  I hate this one.

ALRIGHTY THERE YOU HAVE IT. Goals that I probably won't accomplish, but hey, maybe I'll surprise myself and all of us!




Sunday, May 5, 2019

May Goals

IT IS CLEAR THAT I AM NOT GOOD AT SETTING REALISTIC GOALS so this month I'm trying something smaller and only doing 5.  It's Cinco de Mayo after, all! 

First, April review (LOLZ):

So, April goals:

1. Read 4 more books.  I'm loving reading again and it would be fun to read a book a week.  - I have been working on one book the whole month.
2. Work out 5x. That's all, just once a week! Ish?  I didn't officially work out even once but I did make an effort to get out and walk more
2a. - specifically, go to at least one yoga class Fail
3. Make our dang honeymoon photobook. I feel like this is never going to get done if I don't just sit down and DO it! Nope. 
4. Continue organizing the house.  Main goals: master bedroom, den, rec/storage room Our house went to hell in a handbasket this month
5. Deep clean the house - specifically, steam clean the carpets and deep SCRUB all parts of the kitchen and bathrooms Not all of these things, but I DID deep clean the bathrooms.
6. Pay all outstanding bills (doctor's bills, parking tickets, etc) YES!
7. Make bath bombs Negatory, but I've also decided not to do this
8. Use up ALL produce and other perishables that I buy from the grocery store (I posted an IGTV showing this week's grocery haul. So far so good with using things!)  I did such a good job of this in fact that we are totally out of anything fresh to eat haha
9. Lower our energy bill.  It has been insane. We've been trying some tips to save energy and I'm interested to see if they are working.    YES!!!!! We got it down $139.  We get a little notification of how much we are using compared to similar homes - we were at 192% higher! Now "only" 105%, but definite progress.
10. Work on getting Haddie sleeping in her crib  No progress
11. Mail things in a timely fashion - candles I sell, birthday presents, cards, etc. Everything was mailed on time!
12. File our taxes this week (do NOT wait until the last minute like we normally do) We did them early in the month and had our refund before the deadline.  Felt so nice!
13. Figure out our travel plans for the summer Getting closer, but it's still not figured out and it's stressing me out
14. Research, not necessarily open, college saving accounts for Haddie Nerp
15. Blog 3x a week.  I know, I know.  I always say this and you wouldn't think it would be so hard to just sit down and write.  It shouldn't be, but it is. Clearly no
16. Figure out what I'm doing for my parents upcoming 60th birthdays  Mom's figured out, Dad is coming together.  Hoping to blog about it when they are over!
17. Proactively put together a cute Easter basket for Haddie. Don't stress, don't spend stupid amounts of money on things she won't even like/use, etc.    Yes! I did spend some $ but she loved everything and  is getting use out of it all. 
18. Complete the Feeding Littles toddler course
19. Take pictures with cherry blossoms YES! We went to the National Arboretum and they were so pretty
20. Go to the aquarium (need to get my money's worth out of my year membership!) No, but it's on the agenda for this week


So I completed 8/20 goals which is 40%.  Lol.

My 5 small goals for May are as follows:

.: 1 :.

Follow the Clean Mama schedule for the full month.  They say it takes a month to make a habit so fingers crossed because I need to get my life in check!

.: 2 :.

Complete the Feeding Littles toddlers course

.: 3 :.

Stay off of my phone more when I'm with Haddie other than taking photos.  I notice that I've been spending wayyyy too much time on my phone as she gets better at independent play and I want to nip that in the bud!

.: 4 :.

Take Haddie to at least one fun outing (with other kids) a week

.: 5 :.

Blog once a week


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Coffee Date



I am having a solo coffee date right now. I'm supposed to be working, and I will, but couldn't resist the urge to take a moment to write.  It's so rare that I have time by myself to get things done.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weather has been hot, near or over 80, all week and I'm over it.  Our air conditioning is broken and it's just sticky and hot and miserable in our house.  First world problem, I know, but I'm not into it.  Bill and his dad tried to fix it to no avail, so we are going to call someone tomorrow.  The joys of home ownership, right?!

HOWEVER, despite my annoyance with the heat, it also gave us the opportunity to get out and explore a few parks near us.  I met up with a couple of moms from a local moms Facebook group last week at a playground.  Haddie was too small to really enjoy it and bit the dust in the mulch a few times resulting in a scratched and bruised face, but she still had fun.  Afterwards, we took a long stroller walk around the pond so I could get a little exercise.  I was kinda proud of myself for actually meeting up with them! I'm always wanting to make new mom friends, but then get nervous and cancel.  So, it was a good experience and I hope to meet up with them again soon. 

Yesterday, we tried another park that we've heard good things about.  The "ground" is rubber so kids don't get as hurt when they fall.  Haddie was again too small for most things, but she had fun holding our hands and dragging us around the park.  It was also crazy crowded, so I'm not sure we'll go on the weekend again!

I would tell you that I've got #goals swimming around in my head.  New readers may not know this, but I am this close to having a master's degree in Government, but I never finished (or um, started) my thesis!  Every year I think about doing it and meet with the professors and write a draft of an outline and then it just fizzles out.  Well, I finally have a new topic that interests me and I want to really do it.  I've emailed the thesis professor and I'm waiting to hear her thoughts before I delve into research and writing, but hopefully this will be the year that I actually do it.  I also still really do want to pass the bar exam but I am thinking about starting small by retaking the MPRE in August, which is the ethics exam.  To take the bar in Maryland, I have to retake it since it's been 3 years since I last took it.

I would tell you that weaning Haddie and getting her sleeping the full night in her crib has not been going well.  Most days I'm able to cut out her morning feed and sometimes daytime ones, but at night she's just a nursing monster and I also can't successfully get her down for a nap without nursing her to sleep.  Woof.  As for the crib, I really just need to dedicate a few nights to me getting zero sleep. Or do it on the weekend when Bill can help.  Open to tips that aren't cry it out!

I'd tell you that we are getting excited for our garden.  We were originally going to grow things from seeds but LOL at that. Instead, Bill is building some raised beds and we are going to get plants from the nursery.  We are thinking tomatoes, cucumbers, onions (if that's possible), green onions, and an herb garden.  Any other recommendations? I think we'll also plant some pumpkins - in the ground though, not the beds.  I'm a little nervous because there's a ton of wildlife in our neighborhood but fingers crossed.

I could chat all day, but I need to wrap it up so the last thing I'll tell you is that I've been on a huge reading kick! I've read 6 books in the past couple months which is huge for me and more than I've read in ages.  I think I will even do a quick post on them soon. I read them all via Kindle rentals from the library which is my new favorite way to read books.  I have the Paperwhite which is backlit and allows me to read in the dark when I'm nursing late-night or everyone else is sleeping!

Alright, time for me to get some actual work done before I head home and pick up Haddie.  We are going to the mall to try to find a dress for my friend's wedding next weekend.  Wish me luck!

And HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!






Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April Goals

Well, March goals never even got posted but it's a new month so let's try again!

How did I do on February goals?

February Goals:

1. Publish Haddie's birth story - NOPE and I think I've decided not to post it.  I just... don't want to, so this won't be moving to April's goals. I have it typed up, so it's something I have privately, but I just don't feel like sharing it at this point. 2. Blog 3x a week (12 total posts) - NOPE, only 5 and 2 in March3. Finish Becoming - NOPE, but I did read 4 other books. I'm just not into it, so I'm abandoning it for the time being.4. Work out 10x - LOL no5. Make our honeymoon book- Nope6. Send my rings in to be resized and repaired - No, but this was a conscious decision.  I've decided that I really want to upgrade my center stone, so we are saving up to afford that and then we are going to do that and the fix all at once. 7. Take all of my returns to the post office - Hey, yes! Something I actually did complete!8. Mail Valentines I mailed them in March, but they went out!9. Make a better effort to post on Instagram - Sort of10. The biggest one for February is to get my family on some sort of a schedule where we have more time to enjoy our lives! - Meh?  Marginal improvements11. Open a 529 and a savings account for Haddie - Nope.

Ok, geez Louise, WOOF!  I absolutely did not do well on those goals especially considering I had 2 months to complete them.  I do have somewhat of an explanation for why they didn't get done (I did lots of other productive things, Haddie was sick, work got crazy), but excuses are like assholes, am I right?  

So, April goals:

1. Read 4 more books.  I'm loving reading again and it would be fun to read a book a week. 
2. Work out 5x. That's all, just once a week! 
2a. - specifically, go to at least one yoga class
3. Make our dang honeymoon photobook. I feel like this is never going to get done if I don't just sit down and DO it! 
4. Continue organizing the house.  Main goals: master bedroom, den, rec/storage room
5. Deep clean the house - specifically, steam clean the carpets and deep SCRUB all parts of the kitchen and bathrooms 
6. Pay all outstanding bills (doctor's bills, parking tickets, etc)
7. Make bath bombs
8. Use up ALL produce and other perishables that I buy from the grocery store (I posted an IGTV showing this week's grocery haul. So far so good with using things!)
9. Lower our energy bill.  It has been insane. We've been trying some tips to save energy and I'm interested to see if they are working.
10. Work on getting Haddie sleeping in her crib
11. Mail things in a timely fashion - candles I sell, birthday presents, cards, etc.
12. File our taxes this week (do NOT wait until the last minute like we normally do)
13. Figure out our travel plans for the summer
14. Research, not necessarily open, college saving accounts for Haddie
15. Blog 3x a week.  I know, I know.  I always say this and you wouldn't think it would be so hard to just sit down and write.  It shouldn't be, but it is. 
16. Figure out what I'm doing for my parents upcoming 60th birthdays 
17. Proactively put together a cute Easter basket for Haddie. Don't stress, don't spend stupid amounts of money on things she won't even like/use, etc.  
18. Complete the Feeding Littles toddler course
19. Take pictures with cherry blossoms
20. Go to the aquarium (need to get my money's worth out of my year membership!)

Ok, 20 goals is enough!!!!  That's practically a goal a day. I would absolutely love to write a post the first week of May where I can cross off all of these!  What a great feeling that would be!



Thursday, March 14, 2019

My favorite baby products from our first year as parents

I always find it helpful to see what products others are using for their babies.  One of my best friends is due with twins soon and I've been promising her this post!   Please note this is not anywhere even close to be an extensive list of everything that we used for Haddie during her first year.  Like, barely scratching the surface, but these are my/our favorite things. There are so, SO many more things that we use every single day but they are kind of basic and I don't like them any more than other things of their variety.  They just get the job done! The list is kind of loosely sorted by age, but we used a lot of these things throughout. *This list includes affiliate links*

Newborn (0-3)

Owlet - this is hands-down the best big money we've ever spent.  I was absolutely terrified of SIDS and this allowed me to sleep more peacefully.

Mamaroo - we bought ours secondhand after we discovered Haddie bouncing around happily in one in the NICU!

Butt spatula- a small but simple handy tool!  You can use this instead of your finger for applying butt cream!

Which leads me to our favorite diaper rash cream, Triple Paste!  It's basically a combo of multiple other creams and has worked better for us than anything.

Fisher Price Soothing Motions Bassinet - I love love loved our bassinet! I did a stupid amount of research on bassinets and settled on this one.  It sways ever so slightly, plays sounds and shoots a light display on the wall. The mesh sides are safe for sleeping and it was just so cute! Oh, I love it and miss her being small enough to fit in it!

She really enjoyed her play mat.  I'm sure other ones would do, but I loved that this one had a mirror, fun things to look at during tummy time, and the toucan on top and the giraffe on side are detachable and she still plays with them to this day.



Nursing products (again, not extensive, just my faves!)

Haakaa- I hate pumping and once I discovered this, I only pumped when I had to be away from Haddie for a long period of time.  I built my entire freezer stash using this!  I declared it God's best gift to women after the tampon.  You just stick it on the opposite side that baby is nursing on it and it catches what leaks out as well as acts as a mini pump. Amazing!!

Soothing gel pads - these provided much needed relief.  Ahhh.

Nursing cover- loved this one!  It's pretty, stretchy, not too hot for baby, and also fit over her carseat to keep her safe from the weather and prying strangers

Brest friend nursing pillow - I tried multiple nursing pillows and this one worked the best because you can tighten the strap and it stays in place to support the baby

Medela lanolin - this was Haddie's preference, not mine but she wouldn't nurse if I used any other brand!

Dr Brown's glass bottles - We bought a ton of plastic bottles before I started my journey to a more nontoxic life. Luckily, the Dr. Brown's were her favorite bottle already, so I just swapped them out for glass.

Grass drying rack - this came in so handy for drying pump parts!


3-6

Turtle light -- ahh this glorious light soothed Haddie during many late nights and she still loves to look at it

Baby Einstein aquarium - she also still loves this! It's provided nearly a year of entertainment for her.

"Mrs Unicorn," as we call her - her very first lovey

We used the Halo velcro swaddles in the beginning, but once she started busting of of it, we switched her to the magical transitional swaddling/sack, the Woombie.  Highly recommend!



6-9


Little chair - I didn't even know these existed but my friend Marissa gave us one for a shower gift and it proved to be extremely useful!  I could put her in it while I showered, while we ate, basically any time I needed her to be corralled

Teethers: necklace for mom (what an amazing invention!) - this is similar but not exact to mine, Sophie,

Pacifier clips -- Haddie hated pacifiers, but we used these to clip teething toys to us or her stroller when we were out ant about! Not linking because I don't have a specific brand we liked, but couldn't not mention them!

Faucet cover for bath - protects their little heads from crashing into the faucet plus she loves looking at it

Pack n play - we have gotten so much use out of this! She slept in it in our room after she outgrew the bassinet, we have taken it on every vacation, and I actually still put her in it from time to time when I need to get something done. While I like ours, any pack n play would do, so no link here.

9-12

Jumper - she absolutely loved this thing!  Provided hours of contained entertainment. She still looks at it longingly like she wishes she could fit in it!

Shopping chart cover - ahh, my saving grace!  I take this thing everywhere that I go. I am a bit of a germophobe and this allows me to put her in a shopper cart or restaurant high chair without freaking out.

Toddler teethers - Haddie's favorites are the banana and small Sophie

Activity cube- we gave her this for Christmas and she just loves it. All of the sides have something different for her to do and it's made from nontoxic materials.

Sleeping friends set - she found this at Target herself.  She loves it, it's adorable, and a little fun for me to play with too.  Fun to pretend the little critters are camping!




Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Coffee Date



If we were having coffee, I would first and foremost be lamenting the fact that the Cherry Mocha is gone from Starbucks.  It is by far my favorite drink they make and its only in stock for about 3-4 weeks around Valentine's Day and then *poof*, it's gone as quickly as it came. i would begrudgingly be drinking a toffee nut latte instead which is a close replacement for my second-favorite and also seasonal drink, the Chestnut Praline Latte. Of course, I'm actually writing this post at 11pm and I'm drinking Cab Sauv...

I would tell you that we have had an animal in our attic/wall for a few weeks and finally had a "wildlife removal expert" come out to trap and remove it.  So far they have trapped not one, but two raccoons.  Ew. I also feel horrible because they have to put them to sleep per Maryland law.  But, they needed to be gone before they destroyed our house!  I would also tell you that I'm pretty sure Pumpkin has fleas, which is disgusting and may or may not have come from the raccoons in the wall.  I have to drive into the city to get medicine for him tomorrow and then attack my house with the vacuum. I don't think I should use flea powder or bug bombs with Haddie in the house!  He's only ever had fleas once before and it was literally like one single flea. I haven't actually seen any fleas on him even after I gave him a thorough checking, but he's been scratching himself and I found some "flea dirt."  EW. Now I'm itching.  MOVING ON.

I would tell you that feeding a toddler isn't as easy as it seems.  One day she's into purees and the next day she'll refuse them and only want grown up food.  The next day, ALL she will want is purees.  Yesterday, she finally figured out how to eat from a pouch and downed the whole thing in a few minutes, but today wanted nothing to do with the pouch.  Pair all this with having to closely scrutinize everything to make sure it doesn't have dairy and I'm about to go insane!  She's also obsessed with water, which is cute but sometimes difficult because she won't eat because all she wants to do is drink water!  I finally bought her a stainless steel sippy cup today.  Previously all we had was a plastic one which she's obsessed with, but I don't love her using plastic if we can avoid it.  It's the same style and company so hopefully she'll like it as well.  She actually drinks really well out of regular glasses but those aren't feasible for her walking around and keeping with her throughout the day.  She's discovered toddler junk food, as I call it -- melties, freeze-dried fruit cubes, and broccoli curls are her faves. She also loves carbs and salt which isn't ideal! Any tips to get a toddler interested in actually eating healthy food would be great. A friend told me tonight about Feeding Littles -- they have a course on feeding toddlers that I'm considering taking -- have you taken this course? Thoughts?

I would tell you that working while being home with a 13 month old is also not as easy as I thought it would be.  Not that I thought it would be easy, but I thought it would be doable! It's not.  I have to get all of my work done before she wakes up and after she goes to bed.  Occasionally I can get stuff done during naps but not much and I have to join some meetings during the day.  She screams through the entire meeting and pulls my keyboard the whole time.  It's nearly impossible and I stress so bad every time I know I have a meeting because it's so hard! I have two tomorrow and I'm already stressed about it!

Since pretty much all I talk about these days is Haddie, I would tell you that I've been trying to get her out and about more often to have new experiences and for socialization. So far, we've only gone to story time at the library and I took her to a museum, but I want to do more.  I'm thinking music classes, swimming lessons, the aquarium, and mommy & me yoga. Anything I'm not thinking of?  My goal is to work up to having one activity/outing per day.

In other news, I would tell you that we finally bought a new mattress!  We went to 3 different mattress stores and returned to Mattress Firm a second time to purchase it.  We laid on dozens of beds.  At Mattress Warehouse, we took an assessment on a machine that determines which firmness level you need.  Of course, I got plush/soft and Bill got firm or extra firm!  We ended up buying a medium firm mattress that is a hybrid of memory foam and traditional.  It was double what we intended to spend and sadly we aren't in love with it.  Neither of us feel like we are sleeping as good as we expected, it's kind of hot, the sheets don't stay tight to it, and my back has been hurting (though less than on our old busted on) and Bill's hips hurt.  It has a 120 day "trial" period so we are probably going to exchange it but we are giving it a little bit more time.  I know it's a first world problem, but it's really disappointing.  We have been looking so forward to a new mattress for so long and saved up and finally were able to get it and we don't love it.  It's just hard since we need drastically different beds!  We were considering getting 2 twins and pushing together but I really don't think that sounds fun.  Also, what do you think they do with the mattresses that people try out for 120 days and then return?  Gross.

I would end our coffee date by telling you how much I'm loving this season of Real Housewives BH and how VERY jazzed I am for New York to come back on Wednesday!!!! I'm loving Denise Richards on BH and I'm glad it seems like the old Rinna is back.  I'm 50/50 on if I'm going to like Erika this season and dare I say, I no longer hate Dorit?! NY is my absolute favorite though and I'm dying for it to start.

With that, we must bid adieu.  Until next time, my friends!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

February 2019 Target Finds

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! One of the new things I've started doing with Haddie is taking long trips to Target. The weather has been so gross and we've been cooped up in the house and she's not taking well to me working from home, so it's imperative that we get a daily outing, and lately that has been Target.  Since I'm not made of money, I can't buy everything that I fall in love with, but I've been seeing some cute things lately and wanted to share with you my finds! I've seen other bloggers do this and every time I'm at the store, I think that I should share with you all what I'm loving, so I'm finally doing it!

*affiliate links used*




1. This is hands-down the cutest purse I've seen in a long time.  I actually gasped when I saw it.  It's color-blocked pink, white, and tan and it's a great size.  You can carry it like a handbag or it has an optional cross-body strap (which is a must for me).  I debated buying it and I keep thinking about it all day long so chances are, I will own it soon. I'm a pretty big cheapskate and I just couldn't decide if I wanted to spend $40 on a Target bag -- thoughts??

2. These super cute open toe heels!  They actually had my size for once (11!)  so I tried them on and I loved them, but I really have nowhere to wear them right now so I decided to hold off for now but they were so cute and actually pretty comfy!  They fit my ankles too which I sometimes have problems with as I have a bit of a cankle situation - it's just the way my ankles were made!

3. I'm starting to realize that hats might need to become part of my mom look as it's becoming increasingly difficult to get a shower in every day. I never understood this phenomenon before but here I am!  This hat is much cuter in person and only $12.99 so I think it's only a matter of time before it comes home with me. It's sparkly and a platinum gold color.

4. The last thing I wanted to do was try on swimsuits, but I very nearly bought this adorable palm tree one piece without even trying it on, but thought better of myself as it looked like the torso might be a little short for me. I absolutely love the pattern and color!

5. A mug bearing the phrase "Due to unfortunate circumstances, I'm awake."  If there was ever a mug more suited to my best friend Kyle, I haven't seen it!  It's only $3.00 and is the perfect gift for a coffee-loving, morning-hating person!

6. I snagged these dino salt and pepper shakers, on sale for $2.69 each.  Bill and I have become big dinosaur fans recently!

7. Have you tried this charcoal toothpaste?  I've been looking for a more natural way to whiten my teeth as I feel they are looking gross, but Whitestrips aren't recommended while breastfeeding (anyone know why?? Seems random). 

8. Quick backstory: as a child, I had a Smokey the Bear stuffed animal and when you pulled a string, he said his classic line, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!"  I took this literally and thought that seriously, I was the only one in the world who could prevent forest fires. Even as a kid, I thought that it was a pretty heavy cross to bear and even stranger because forest fires don't often happen in Ohio, but I took it seriously and made sure to prevent brush fires...  So needless to say, this sweatshirt spoke to me, especially in light of the recent devastating fires. 

9. I fell in love with these ridiculous shoes the first time I saw them back in November.  I recognize that they are ugly and look like something that Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century would wear, but they are chunky and they are holographic and I just want them. 

10. BONUS: I forgot to include a picture of it in the graphic above, but all of the Target brand (and some other brands too) candles are on sale!  Sweet Spun Sugar is one of my favorite candle scents from any company, ever.  It's subtle, calming, girly, and perfect.  All sizes are on sale, but I got the 15.2 oz - it's normally $10, on sale for $8.  The 21 oz is also on sale from $15 to $12, but ounce for ounce, the 15.2 jar gets you better savings. 

What have YOU been loving lately at Target?