Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shopping with Kids

Yesterday over at Snappy Casual, Kelsey's husband, Eric, did a guest post on shopping with your spouse. Practical advice. It got me thinking though, what about shopping success with babies/kids?
Damon's work schedule leaves shopping pretty low on the priority list of things to do together, but my work schedule leaves me with little other choice but to take the kids with me shopping.
Here's what I've found to work well:
1) Go first thing in the morning, or fresh after a nap and snack. Hungry, overtired kids are not fun kids.
2) Send those over two years old to the bathroom before you leave. Chances are, there will still be an inconvenient urgent search for a restroom, but it's best to minimize the risk.
3) Pack water and snacks. Even if you plan to be back before snack/meal time. It can serve as a great distraction if meltdowns occur when you're waiting in line etc.
4) Have an extra outfit/underwear in the car and/or diaper bag. You never know what could happen. Frequently, poop and spills happen.
4) Bring stroller and favorite babywearing product, even if you don't think you'll need it. Mall trips often mean I switch between the stroller and wearing Bauer. Typically because Bauer gets tired of sitting in it and wants me to carry him, but there have been a couple times where it turned into the " chill out" (you know, trying to preempt the need for a time-out) chair for Emberly.
5) Have a "reward" for older children (and reward breaks if the length of the trip warrants). Emberly enjoys walking through and playing on the computer at the Build-a-Bear shop at the mall. So I make that the last stop, provided that she behaves the rest of trip. Our outdoor mall has a splash plad and playground, which you saw them playing at in my "bits and pieces" post. At Trader Joes, she likes to get a sample, or ask for animal cookies if the sample isn't kid-friendly.
6) Have reasonable expectations. Kids and babies are just that, kids and babies. A fun trip can turn sour in a millisecond if you're expecting them to act like little adults for hours on end. Know when it's time to "quit while you're ahead" and when to "cut your losses."
7) Do take them out. Kids need these experiences to learn how to behave in public and parents need the experience to learn all the little tricks that work to help them have fun with their kids in public. I'm sure every parent reading this can add 3-4 more points that have worked with their kids!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Whole New World

Can't you just hear Jasmine and Aladdin? Can't you!?
No, I didn't find a magical flying carpet (though perhaps I didn't look hard enough!).
I went to the thrift store. I remember enjoying finding things at Goodwill when I was a young teenager. I had a chevron striped sweater that I loved (I don't know what ever happened to it, because i certainly didn't give it away!) that I freaked out when the ditzy sister on that 70's show wore it on one episode.
But I hadn't been in forever. And I kept seeing these wonderful thrifted finds on all kinds of style blogs. It couldn't hurt for me to check one out.
I scored. I got a coral skirt. And a navy silk blouse. For four dollars. That's correct. 1, 2, 3, 4 dollars.
The skirt was too big.
My first instict was to put darts on either side of the back elastic. But then the front pockets were pulled to an unflattering position on my hips. I decided that I liked the belt loops closer together than is typical, than I liked having pocket-wings on my hips. So I put a pleat in front.
Not only does it now fit, but I think bringing the belt loops closer actually has a waist cinching slimming effect.
I think my finds were more than enough to make up for my disappointment with the dress selection and children's clothing selection. I'll definitely be going back every few weeks!

>>>PS, I'm linking this up to link party Tuesdays @ A Bowl Full of Lemons. What what!!

DIY | Everybody, EverywearPPS, I'm also submitting making this thrift store find fit to the DIY EBEW of October! Recycle, Reuse, right? ;)

Monday, August 29, 2011

*Crossing Fingers*

Last night on the VMAs Beyonce gave a performance at the end of which she unbuttoned her sparkling jacket, revealing maternity trousers and rubbed a growing belly. That's a memorable show!
I know that celebrities are regular people who don't necessarily deserve to have every aspect of their lives scrutinized, but I sincerely hope that with the millions of young women (young black women especially) that adore her and love her music, that Beyonce will be an outspoken advocate for breastfeeding.
I really think that would have significant impact, at least in the initiation rates. *crossing fingers*

Nanny 911

I've worked through just about everything I *want* to watch that's available on Netflix "watch instantly." So I started watching Nanny 911. So far there hasn't been much ethnic diversity with the families "in crisis." I don't think this means that non-Caucasians have superior parenting abilities and perfect children (because really...), but that a)we (or "they," if that makes it seem like I feel like a representative for all ethnicities LOL) don't want that kind of business on national TV and b)they don't want parenting advice from heavy British women.
I know I wouldn't want it all over TV if I were letting Emberly run the show. Know what I'm sayin?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Our bits and pieces

Yesterday Miss James over at Bleubird Vintage did a lovely post of snapshots through her family's day and invited readers to follow suit. Much obliged!

Friday, August 26, 2011

So Summery

Monochromatic | Everybody, Everywear

I had to blog this outfit because Damon, who usually sticks to "you look nice/pretty/sexy," told me that he liked my outfit, it was so summery.
I concur.
We visited our Aunt and this was the first time I noticed how gorgeous the front door of her home is. Had to get the nephew to snap-snap.
Headband: Target
Tank: AE
Vest: NY&Co
Shorts: J Crew Factory
Belt: super old DKNY via Macy*s
Sandals: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom

P.S. I found another interesting link party!  Real Momma, Real Style.  I think that's me ;)

Momma Go Round

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Favorite Skincare

The focus of my skincare routine has changed subtly to be more layered through the years.
As a teenager, I was primarily concerned with controlling my freckles and having an even skintone. That's when I started using Aveeno's Positively Radiant with SPF.
In my late teens/early 20s, I started getting bad breakouts and I had to have benzoyl peroxide on hand. And I started using Oil of Olay disposable cleansing cloths. I cut them into quarters because unless you're washing off stage makeup, the whole cloth is serious overkill. And bonus, they travel better than a liquid face wash because a) they can't spill in your luggage and b)you don't have to worry if they fit the TSA liquid parameters.
Then I moved to the desert and got lazy with my lip care. If you have seriously chapped lips, a waxy layer of balm doesn't do much but feel like greasy foil. I try to exfoliate, apply aloe gel and then, finally, chapstick/lip balm.
I rarely wear whole-face makeup like foundation or powder so I didn't feel like I really needed to wash my face before bed. But I'm getting into the habit of taking off ALL my makeup and washing my face in the evening. And wouldn't you know, it really helps with the exhausted looking eye-rings if there's no caked mascara flakes under my eyes LOL
And last, I started using some anti-wrinkle stuff because I'm worried about the result of my fairer complexion and obsession with being golden brown year-round for 5yrs (well, I'd still like to be perpetually golden brown now, but not at the expense of looking old and leathery) back when I modeled (though I did always wear sunscreen on my face when I tanned/laid out). I also wear a hat and/or liberally apply and re-apply sunscreen when I swim with the kids now.

What are some of your favorite products and why?!?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Swimming in Ideas

I bought a Livingsocial deal to have my master bathroom painted. I'm waiting on my consultation but I plan to have it painted this color:

Along with replacing the huge generic frame-less mirror with two framed mirrors and floating shelving. So stay tuned for before and afters of that!
That leaves only the kids bathroom and laundry room with the original white.
There are a TON of other things I want to do to our house:
Put up a back splash under the cabinets behind the stove

Rip up the carpet downstairs for this:

And put something like this in my bathrooms and laundry:

There's some furniture I'm keeping an eye out for too. A wide bookshelf for the mini cove in our great room, and a head board for the queen bed in our guest bedroom.
And don't get me started on the furniture in our master suite. I've whined about it before. Hopefully I can enlist the hubby in staining our pieces a darker color and adding some brushed nickel hardware in order to tie them in with the rest of our house and bring them into this decade. And getting a bedskirt to hide the awful exposed boxspring that makes the bed look fugly even when it's perfectly made.
Sooo much to do, so little time and money. *sigh*

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Damon and I were watching something when an actor that had been on the show Damages came on.
What happened to Damages?
It's a great drama about a cut-throat law firm and their multi-billion dollar suits. It stars Rose Byrne and Glenn Close. I love it!
According to the IMDB page, it's in its fourth season, which started July 13th. How is it possible that with all the programming we watch on FX that we haven't seen a single commercial and have been missing it for over a month?!?
A few more clicks and I discover that FX canceled it and it's now only available on a channel exclusive to DirecTV.
I feel personally ripped off. Hopefully I can see it later on Netflix... not the same though.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Getting Ready

Here I am plain-jane pale face:
I decided on a purple smokey eye.
Little mister was not having me in the bathroom getting ready while he was trying to sleep in the next room. He insisted on being on my hip while I tried to do my hair.
I liked it down.
But, we were headed to a club and if I even think about heading to the dance floor, I start to sweat, so, no go. Bobby pins and a braid to keep it off my neck and face.
{ready. to. go. holla.}

Friday, August 19, 2011

I noticed something

So this month's EBEW challenge (which happened last week) was pattern mixing. It became painfully obvious that I'm not big on patterns. Especially for tops. I was seriously at a loss. Which made me sad because I had just picked up these adorable floral shorts from Target, but didn't like them with any of my existing patterned shirts. For shame!
{ps, notice the boy's locks. Damon hasn't taken him for a haircut, and I'm not saying anything :D}
Top: Express
Shorts: Target
Shoes: Nordstrom BP
Bracelets: NY&Co, H&M

Thursday, August 18, 2011

All Done!

Bauer has started saying "all done." In fact, it's pretty much his universal go-to response for everything and seems to mostly mean that he's "all done" talking/listening to mommy. :/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


My mom knit this short sleeved cardi for my birthday! And I made the skirt. I really love the pattern I used, but I really should have tested it out on a cheaper, stiffer fabric. It looks good as long as you don't get too close ;)
I have plenty of fabric and a couple more patterns I'd like to test, both for myself and the littles. And I have an eff-ton of yarn and knit/crochet ideas too. But somehow it seems like I never have the time I need! {don't even get me started on the books I've been meaning to read} Damn you, pinterest, facebook and blogger. Damn you!