Sunday, October 5

Mini Milestones

This post is part of a year-long partnership with the Netflix #StreamTeam. I received a one year Netflix streaming subscription and an iPad mini for participating. I've been a paying customer of Netflix for 8 years--I'd be lost without her.  Thanks for reading!

"Don't worry mama, I'm not getting ice cream," he says as he opens the freezer. His little hand dips in and pulls out a frozen muffin. He sets it on the counter and opens the corner cabinet for a purple plastic Ikea plate. He unwraps the muffin, puts it on the plate and walks over to the microwave atop the counter on the other side of the kitchen. He opens the door, slides the plate in on his tip toes, slams the door and carefully presses the "off" button--shortly followed by the "30 second" button when nothing happens the first time.

He waits patiently for the beep, grabs his plate, wobbles it around in the air and takes it to his little red Land of Nod chair for a nice TV time snack. 

What am I even here for? Apparently all can be handled with me otherwise occupied. Basically, he's an adult now.

Luckily he still lets me stick him in a baby swing once in a while. I'm all right with him growing up a little--but not all at once.

This is how he plays now. It's all about pretending (and I love it).

Once a month he naps. It looks like this:

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His hair is shorter now. Tom and I decided to try to cut it ourselves this weekend--how hard can it be? Harder than one would think. As Tom wielded the scissors, I said "don't worry, we'll just take him to get it fixed if it doesn't look good. He won't care." And he didn't.

I have premonitions, what can I say. "You didn't do a great job, Daddy." Welp. That was it.

We took him to get it fixed and it had to go shorter than planned. Our determination isn't over (at least Tom's isn't). All three of us thought it was a jolly good time. Carter, perched on a kitchen chair with the iPad and a lolly pop, ready for round two.

*  *  *

Tonight Carter had a hard time falling asleep. His routine now is to lay in his bed with the door open. while we're somewhere else upstairs--either our room or the office. Tonight he scratched his finger nails against the wall as I worked in the office.  "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?" and then "Hey daddy, I have to go tell mommy something real quick." He hopped out of bed, flung open the office door and just stared at me with a grin. 

About 42 scenarios (all varying slightly) played out until, "Do you need someone to lay with you tonight, buddy?"

"Bofe of you."

And so we did. And Gemma. But then as Carter turned to press his nose to mine, we locked eyes and got the giggles. I don't even know what made us start, but we laughed in unison and for the first time I felt like he was exactly like me. We wheezed at the same time, sucked in deep breaths simultaneously; took a brief pause, and lost control again. It was one of my favorite moments as a mom. Acting completely like a kid and stopping my three-year-old from getting to bed on a school night with a field trip the next day.

*  *  *

What "mini milestones" are you celebrating? Netflix has a cool little list of shows and movies that correspond to lots of "firsts." Here are a few ideas:

New Sibling: The Hive: S01E01, Babee's Room 
First Pet: Beethoven 
First Move: 
The Croods
First Trick-or-TreatJake and the Never Land Pirates: S02E15, Tricks, Treats and Treasure! 

I am really excited to be a part of the Netflix #StreamTeam. Look out for monthly posts on what we're watching!


Sunday, September 28

Pumpkin Boots

There I was, sitting on my off-white leather couch that everybody (Tom) hates except me, pondering how wonderful it would be if hard cider and pumpkin beer could be married together in the most delicious concoction ever to grace my pallet. Because certainly, I thought, I cannot be the only one bestowed with such genius as this.

So I did what anyone would do in this sort of situation. I googled. And there it was, ACE pumpkin cider. So naturally, I went out and bought it—it’s just as good as one would imagine, likening the beloved PSL to the {presumed} taste of dog water.

That short little nugget is all I have to say. It was 80 today and I loved every bit of it, but I'm officially declaring a welcome to fall weather (and winter for that matter). Me and my beloved cider and new boots are ready for you.

Wednesday, September 17

Whole 30

So this Whole 30 thing. I did it. This is my last day. I’m feeling awesome. I did it in hopes to improve my asthma and eczema and I have to say that I’ve noticed a difference with my eczema, but my asthma is just a tad bit better (although it’s not that bad to begin with so I don’t have anything to complain about).

Since I don’t want to be all wordy about this whole 30, I just want to point out a few things I’ve learned from it in case my future self falls off the clean eating, non-processed food wagon someday.

+I actually don’t hate cooking as much as I thought I did (as long as the recipes are semi-simple).
+My favorite thing ever to eat is sweet potato fries (I even had them for breakfast twice).
+Which leads me to, it makes you eat weird things for breakfast because you crave them as soon as you get up (today was a huge red pepper with homemade dill dip—definitely weird, but as soon as I opened my fridge at 8:30 in the morning that red pepper was calling to me. Ludicrous.)
+I’m totally fine with breaking a few “rules” even though the whole point of the Whole 30 is to not break any. I guess I have my own version. My bends to the rules were: I drank hard cider about 3 times, I ate pizza 3 times, I ate popcorn like a bagillion times because this is all about a lifestyle for me and there isn’t a world that exists where I don’t eat popcorn whenever I want. I get the loose kernels and pop them in a brown paper bag (rolled up) in the microwave. The things you remember from watching Dr. Oz 5 years ago…
+added sugar is. in. everything. (I already knew this, but it was totally reinforced)
+I like black coffee (and coffe with just a little unsweetened almond milk too)
+I like homemade: mayo, ketchup, dips.
+carrageenan is the devil (I switched from carrageenan-laden almond milk to brands without and I noticed a difference in how I feel in the mornings). This is one thing I just can’t make at home (too lazy, my blender is on its way out). The 365 brand (at Whole Foods) and the Nature’s Promise Stop & Shop brands of unsweetened almond milk are both carrageenan free (just in case you wanted to know).

This was one thing in the past that I knew I should avoid, but just didn’t have the energy to avoid. That sounds ridiculous. But there are so many health-conscious things to be aware of and sometimes I have to just pull a Manya (Seinfield, The Pony Remark) and stand up and say “I’ve had enough!”

Sometimes you just need to wait a little to make certain changes and that’s OK. Wait until you’re ready. You don’t have to overhaul everything all at once. I’ve had a 7 year journey so far of trying to be more natural and healthful with the way I live my life (foods I eat, cleaning products I use, etc) and it just doesn’t happen overnight. I'm still not all the way there. My next thing to tackle is homemade probiotics (water kefir grains here I come!!)

+Lastly, I can’t live without Ezekiel bread.
I’m doing the Whole 30 again, but my next “rule” to break is eating Ezekiel bread! Like I said—lifestyle.

Also, on the plus side I lost 4.8 lbs (and inches--so we're talking not just water weight like you would with some kind of crash diet) and I didn't even feel like I missed out on anything. Now I'm actually 3 (or is it 4) days into my second round and I don't feel deprived at all. That's why I don't even know what day I'm on, I could care less because I just want to keep on going!

However, we'll be going to the Big E (google it) in the near future and I'm totally eating fried pickles and clam cakes from the RI house. Sorry, Whole 30, we'll be taking a couple hour break.

Monday, July 28

So, Do You Know What's Weird?

So I wrote out this long, boring post about how I used to love blogging, but then all that blogging entails (sponsorships, reviews, partnerships of any kind) sucked the life right out of me. It's a post you've read a dozen times before--so I highlighted that biatch and hit delete. It felt good.

I want to write more. I wish I had a writing group to go to. Or a book club! Wouldn't that be fun?! I think I need to find space in my life for something like that once a week. Thinking of joining a book club honestly gives me excited butterflies in my stomach. Either I'm old and boring, or...? Is there an alternative to that?

Friday, May 23

Carter Turned 3!! (photo overload)

Wednesday was Carter's 3rd birthday! Tom has had the week off so we all went to a farm for the day. Carter was into it. He had his map ready and took off. This place is great. Massachusetts people--Davis Farmland is awesome. Although I'm sure the weekends are packed and there's not a lot of shade so probably a no-go for tiny babies.

On the way home we took a quick trip to Toys R Us (Carter likes nothing more than to walk up and down the aisles and to name the characters from every game/movie/show/toy ever). He is obsessed with toy review videos on YouTube (Sammy on Arcadius Kul is his favorite, closely followed by EvanTubeHD). Carter walked away with a box full of Marvel blind bags that were on clearance (and Tom got a second box for himself).

We ended the day with cake and ice cream with the grandparents (minus one special papa who was away on business--but he was at Disney racing mustangs so don't feel too bad).

this goat was only 4 days old!! Holy cuteness!!

 moon bounce action

And nothing sums up Carter's personality quite like this photo:

Happy Weekend!! xo

Beautiful Facial Oil {review + giveaway}

So I think you know how I don't like using products with chemicals in them. Pretty sure we've covered that once or several hundred times. Trusted Health asked me to try their Beautiful line of facial oils and I was all over it. Here are my thoughts:

They add your name to the bottle--cute, who doesn't like their own personalized little bottles? Here are mine:

The ingredients are as natural and simplistic as they claim--awesome. Here they are:

My skin felt AMAZING. Our spring weather has been s  l  o  w, but on the days that reached 70 I went sans foundation and just wore this oil and my skin felt great and I have to say it looked pretty great too (if you can get used to the no foundation look--I'm working on embracing it). Sometimes, even with all the best non-foundation-settling tricks, my foundation and concealer gets into those little lines I'm starting to get around my eyes and forehead in my 26th year. Not a fan of these little dudes popping up. This oil definitely helped to camouflage that and it made my skin look more like it was in its 14th year. Works for me.

I have the kind of skin that does best without all that skincare hullabalu--I don't use toner, hardly use cleanser, no crazy masks or facials for this lady. The most I do is exfoliate once a week-ish and so these oils fit perfectly into my little regimen of few ingredients and no hassle. Also, this stuff works better than any eye cream I've ever tried. I also have very sensitive skin (that gets hives from showering--I know) and these didn't cause any issues for me.

I'm sure some of you are already into OCM (oil cleansing method) and these oils would work great for that.

If this is something up your alley, enter the giveaway for the Beautiful AM Moisturizer below. There will be 3 separate winners chosen. You can also try out a free bottle if you pay S&H (check out the details below).

Additional Offers from Trusted Health
1. Try a free bottle if you pay shipping + handling:

The manufacturer is offering a free bottle of Beautiful A.M. Moisturizer (for women) or You’re the Man A.M. Moisturizer (for men), if you pay the shipping and handling cost.  You'll also get two reports with your bottle– The Poisons You Put On Your Face Everyday and Why Your Skin Care Products Have Never Worked: The Truth Revealed .  It's a total value of over $40.00. Click here to get your FREE bottle. If you're someone like me who's really into minimal ingredients, I think this is definitely worth checking out.

2. Save $5 on your first order when you like Trusted Health on Facebook

3. If you happen to not be a girl/woman/lady/ma'am, there is a men's line available called The Man, check that out here

Wednesday, April 2

Autism Awareness with Sevenly!

This week I've partnered with Sevenly + Autism Speaks to talk about autism awareness. 

If you've noticed, there have been quite a few posts recently related to charity and certain causes. I have been feeling kind of blah about blogging, and so I've been trying to blog about things I truly care about that are bigger than me. It has given me new energy to focus on blogging and it makes this time spent on the computer much more enjoyable and I actually want to spend time doing it. 

Also, if you haven't read about sweet little Charlie yet...go do it!

"Shine a Light" tee available here

So today, April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day (pretty appropriate day for the post, right?). I think it's safe to say that since autism is so common now (1 in 68 children), lots of us have experience with ASD to varying extents. I want to share a story with you quickly about what made me passionate about this cause. 

In high school, I got the opportunity to be a tutor in a Life Skills class and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. All of the kids in the class were about the same age as me. Actually, the boy who I became the closest with, we'll call him Kyle (I like to keep people's privacy!), was a year older than me. One of my favorite parts of my day was going to hang out with Kyle. Even though he couldn't communicate with me verbally,  we got to know each other. 

He had this cool computer (forgive me for not knowing the real term) that he could type into to let us know what he wanted, and almost every day he'd ask to go get chips out of the vending machine. The sheer joy on his face when he opened the bag instantly turned any bad day upside down. We want on walks to open his locker, walks for exercise around the hallways, worked out in the gym. Hanging out with him was the only thing that ever made me like routines. I loved watching him do his circuit on the strength training machines and was ever in awe of the way he whipped out a math worksheet before I could even get my calculator out to check the first problem.

He liked to go swimming at his family's lake house and I even got to go to a graduation party for him at school a couple of years after I graduated. 

I want to be able to connect with people in that way again. Not so much as an educator, but as someone who can hang out and enjoy life with some of the most amazing people this world has to offer. 

I have this dream of one day being a stay at home mom when Carter is in high school, and having the ability to decide that instead of going out and getting a "real" job, I will go volunteer all of my time away. Who knows if that will ever work out, but it's a pretty good dream to have (at least I think it is).

And now let me segue into something not so smoothly. Being a parent is terrifying, but I think it can be even more scary with a child with special needs. Wandering is a behavior associated with ASD. 48% of children with ASD wander from a safe environment (this is a rate about 4 times higher than children without ASD). 58% of parents said that wandering is one of the most stressful ASD behaviors. 

The good news? This week, your purchase at Sevenly provides locating devices that will help keep children with autism safe. 

Find the shirt I styled here.

Visit Sevenly's website for more information.

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