So, I thought I’d get all crafty before the birthday extravaganzas begin and make an Initial for our wall made out of cork. Yes, it’s nothing new, but I was dying to do one and I’ve been holding on to too many corks for too long so here we are.
If you are so interested in the “how”, I’ll tell you what I did.
I first went to Michaels and bought a black flat initial and some Original Tacky Glue. (all purpose craft glue) I thought the flat initial was going to be too small, look too plain for what I was doing, but it was a perfect size and weight.
The initial already had a clear plastic tab stapled to the top of my L, so I didn’t have to worry about how to hang my letter after I was finished. Due to the height of the corks, you can’t really see it once it’s hung.
I used every saturated side of the cork for the glue and started at one end. I would only do a few at a time, due to time constraints, but that allowed me to place something flat and a bit heavy on every group of corks to get a strong flat hold.
MHM is short for Must Have Mondays, but since it’s Tuesday, I didn’t want to shout it from the rooftops.
As I have mentioned, I used to have straight hair for a good portion of my life, but in the past 10 years have turned into crazy wavy head. And mostly underneath. It’s a bitch to manage, but when I do take the small time to focus on it, it makes such the difference. Along with my new shampoo and conditioner, plus my new shower filter, which I will discuss at a later date, this flat iron makes a nice looking blow dry kick some major ass.
I was able to purchase this one at Ulta with a 20% off discount. I think I actually bought this for myself two years ago for Christmas. I was prego with Hola and needed all the artillery I could get to keep my hair looking hot, cause my body certainly was not.
All in all, if you have the ability to do so, buy a quality flat iron. Giving your hair that final polished look can really make all the difference. Plus, it’s fun to take crazed out ponytail gym hair and turn it into Girls’ Night Out hair within 10 minutes. Believe me, I tried it yesterday. and it WORKED.
(Once again, no one is offering any kind of moo la la for this opinion.)
Just as I was about to think, “What in the hell am I going to write about today?” it dawned on me that it’s Must Have Monday! Now, what was it that I had in mind? A memory that works! Yep, that’s it!
Nah, today is all about hair. Or mine for that matter.
When I was in high school, I had straight, long, blond hair. It was all natural and EASY to maintain. All I had to do after washing and conditioning it with Salon Selectives (didn’t EVERYBODY use that back in the day?) was to brush it out and let it dry BY ITSELF. Honestly, it looked as if I spent a lot of time on it. WHY did I not know I had it so good? WHYYYY?
Gone are the days of wash and go around here. Sometime during college, the underparts of my hair decided to grow in wavy. (My hairdresser will call it a STRONG wave.) Me? Wavy hair? The kind of hair I PINED for my whole life? The kind of hair that I would try to emulate by French braiding overnight? What, you mean you could tell it wasn’t real due to the rubber band marks at the bottom of the braid? The straight ends were obvious? (OF COURSE THEY WERE!)
What I am trying to say, is that I have an entirely different kind of head than I did when I was younger and I am having a hard time managing this newer ‘do with two distractions keeping me from the styling mirror. I have spent time AND money trying to find the best products to help me get the best out of my hair.
What my hairdresser told me (she’s a peach, let me tell you) is that I have VERY dry hair. When I lived in Oklahoma, the water there was softer, which made managing my hair after shower a lot easier. Since I have lived in California, for almost 11 years now, the water is harder. Hard water is a death sentence to fine, dry, wavy hair. It makes tangles a BITCH to manage.
So, what I washed and conditioned my hair with mattered more than ever. While I have been a Redken user for quite some time now, I haven’t been as thrilled with the types I have used up to this point. (There was nothing wrong with them per say, I just thought there was something better out there for my hair.) I was told to focus solely on moisturizing my hair any chance I got, so my choice for shampoo was their Moisture line. When it comes to conditioner, I happened to come across their Smooth Down brand the last time I visited Ulta*.
I wasn’t sure it was for me until I read the description:
“Smooth Down Conditioner detangles, smoothes and tames very dry/unruly hair.” (Redken’s exclusive Interbond Conditioning System delivers a unique Ionic Smoothing Complex of macadamia oil, candelilla wax and cationic refiners to replenish oils, provide intense smoothing and a long-lasting, frizz-free finish. Hair is ultra-smooth, moisturized, manageable and shiny.
Hey, that’s me! So, I bought it. And, man. DOES IT EVER WORK. Smooth, silky hair that I can brush through with ease while wet and barely have to flat-iron to get that smooth, soft look. (And that isn’t easy when you have wavy hair!) As long as I reaaaally dry my hair, I can spend less time in front of the mirror and more time juggling the rest of my daily responsibilities. Plus, my hair looks really good, to me.
* I only purchase liters of Redken when they go on sale at Ulta. They can be as low as $13.99 a liter. Otherwise, YOWZA.
(I am not paid for this product review nor influenced. ha.)
Wait, it IS Monday, right? Honestly, I have no clue. I can’t even find my driver’s license and debit card. They were in one pair of my pants last week after we left the store, but now, I just don’t know. Hey, at least I brought in all 4 bags from the store today and put them away quickly! (And yes, I had to use my credit card. BUGGER.)
While I am posting every day during the month of November, I figure I need to have more of a plan when it comes to certain days of the week. I already have Feed Me Fridays in place, so I thought I would start up my Must Have category again. Of course, the item listed below is just one of my personal favorites based on my experience. (No one is asking me to or giving me cashola to do so. (darnit!))
When I first moved in with hubs, almost eleven years ago, he owned a waffle iron. It was old, dungy and took forever to be cleaned after one use. We got rid of it after a move or two and never thought much about making waffles again. We’ve upgraded our pancake griddle in the past couple of years, but still no waffle iron.
The kids, especially the 4 1/2 yr old, LOVE these waffles. It takes 3 minutes to make each one. You flip it halfway through the cooking process. One waffle is too big for me to even eat, so they do go along way. Lately, we’ve been adding blueberries and pecans to the batter. Once you EASILY clean the grill, you can store it standing up. Takes up little to no room, which is great since I really had no room left.
It makes weekend mornings that much more enjoyable being able to make something fun and different. Plus, who doesn’t like BELGIAN waffles? mmmm.
If you’re a super bargain shopper, like me, and can’t stand to pay full price for anything your kids wear, then you have come to the right place.
I shop at Walmart once a month. I try to pick up as many pantry items to “fill in the blanks” for most of our meals. I can get exactly what I want for the best price in town. How do I know this? Cause I’ve looked everywhere.
I always take a gander through the baby section, specifically the clothes. I am a Carter’s lover at heart, but can stand to pay the price tag. I have even gone to the Carter’s outlet on occasion to find what I am looking for, but the outlet isn’t down the street, but Walmart is. (we now have a Carter’s store nearby, but you have to hit the sales to get a good deal.)
Walmart carries a line of Carter’s clothing called “Child ‘o Mine.” (sizes up to 5t) Most every item I have seen is darling and carries that same quality Carter’s is known for.
I think their pajamas selection is quite cute, (which can be hard to do for boys clothing) but their pricing truly takes the cake. Each Carter’s top and bottom pajama set is only $6.82.
I have looked everywhere for cute pajamas for my boys and these fit the bill and lower my cost on spending each month.
Any good deals out there worth sharing?
As I was checking out of Trader Joe’s yesterday, I told the cashier lady it always seemed most of my purchases were for the kids. Luckily, for them, there are lots of options for healthy eating and snacking. Here’s my top ten organic must haves.
1) Bag of Sweet Potatoes
I peel, chop, steam and freeze these guys in small pieces, so when it comes time for dinner, I have another vegetable option that’s one defrost button away from their plate.
2) Fresh Fruit: Pears, Peaches Strawberries, Bananas, to name a few.
I have always been satisfied with their organic selection and it’s only growing! Sometimes one of my peaches might be bruised a bit, but I start with that guy first…
3) Frozen blueberries
13 mo old eats these straight from the bag. It may get messy, but the look on his face is priceless! Best price in town, too.
Have you looked at the label on regular ketchup? HFCS, who knew? Glad we can use this when turkey meatballs are on the menu.
5) Bag of frozen corn, green beans, peas and carrots medley
It’s hard to find frozen green beans that the boys will eat. With this medley, they are getting the best of all worlds. (13 mo old doesn’t eat the corn yet, skin too hard to digest yet, they say.)
6) Can of Black beans
Best dish for the kids when I need a side of protein. AND, we use the rest in our tacos and taco salads.
7) Peanut Butter and Jelly Spreads
I’ve mentioned these before, but they are a staple in our 4 yr old’s diet. And, the peanut butter tastes perfect with a side of apple.
8 ) Mac and Cheese Single Servings (pasta is organic)
I even eat these when there are no leftovers or burritos in the house for lunch. They are great for the kids to share at dinner.
9) Joe’s O’s (Picture Spaghetti’o's without the junk)
Haven’t busted open this can yet, but I could place a bet they are just as tasty as the original.
10) Polenta tube
Another great side dish for us, or the kids. I have never made polenta until I found it at Trader Joe’s. Who knew cutting off a few pieces and baking in olive oil could be that tasty. Especially with a tomato-based sauce.
Anything else to add to this list?
The lovely gorillabuns showed some interest for one of my baby-carrying contraptions, so I thought I would take all of you on a tour of “How to hold your baby.”
First up, and most-needed!!!!, in my opinion, is the Sling. In my case, the Peanut Shell.
This puppy is the BEES’ KNEES when it comes to holding your baby, ESPECIALLY newborns, right off the bat. Hola was a 4th trimester baby. If there was room, he could have stayed in my womb for another 3 months. For the first month or so, he was not too interested in just “hanging out” after being fed/before nap. He would just fuss fuss fuss. So, I stuck him in the sling, and did everything I needed/wanted to do. (he would literally pass out within minutes!!)
Clean kitchen? check. Write blog post? check. Make something edible for dinner? check.
It’s just like being pregnant, so you do have to work around your belly, but you’ve got two hands AND no back pain. MAJOR BONUS. Hey, I still shove Hola in my sling when desperate, and at 17 lbs, he still nods off to sleep. (Sometimes, it does take some “walking the halls” to the rhythm of the night to get him to settle and nod off, but once he does, I’m set, and so is he.
Next up, a little side talk regarding the Baby Bjorn.
I have owned this sucker since Rt was born. It was THE THING to register for. We used it a handful of times with him, hubs more than me, cause that thing killed my shoulders. No matter how much I tried to make it work, it didn’t. Plus, he was kid #1, so he spent more time on the floor, or stroller while we were en route.
This babe around, I have used it. But, ONLY cause I knew I was going somewhere quickly and wasn’t going to be wearing it very long. If that is the case, then I say, USE YOUR BJORN. Running in to pick up kid #1 from school? Throw babe in bjorn. Going on a long walk around the neighborhood, or trail? NO WAY! If so, run to the nearest massage parlor to get the kinks in your upper body worked out pronto!
And now, the talk turns towards the Ergo Carrier!!
Now, I have to start by telling you I haven’t truly used this yet. Well, I have, but Hola is still too little to ride in it. His legs have to wrap around my waist, and his body is not mature enough to do so quite yet. I have read people started carrying their babies around 5- 6 months.
Since Hola is 4 months now, and clearly too small for the Peanut Shell, I needed something for the NOW, not 1 to 2 months from now. I tried the Bjorn again, at a playdate, and was in pain within minutes. I whipped out my Moby Wrap (oh, ya, another item I purchased for baby #2) and had to have my girlfriend walk me through the process of wrapping it around my body. 10 minutes later, I had Hola chilling on my chest. I thought I had found my NOW answer. Well, until, my girlfriend pointed out Hola’s legs were a beautiful shade of purple. OOOPS. I was cutting off the circulation of my baby!! Not good. Not at all.
Let me just say, there is nothing wrong with the Moby Wrap. I am sure if I spent some time with it, the three of us, Moby, Hola and I would be friends, but I don’t have the time. I do not want to make the time. I am going to resell it on Craigslist (where I bought it in the first place.)
So, what to do, what to do.
I caved and bought the Ergo Carrier insert. (on sale, free shipping!)
While it does work, my baby, my child, looks hilarious hanging out the side of this thing. (the proper way to carry a newborn, both legs off to the side.) I think I need to spend some more time configuring this thingie, but it DOES work! Hola took a lovely little nap, basically lying down, while I ate my dinner the other night out with friends. All with no pain to my backside.
I will continue to update you on my carrier when I get to use it for all its worth. (And just so you know, all of these items were either given to me, won in a giveaway, purchased off of craigslist, or splurged on by me since I was having a same-sex baby!)
I bought me a Dyson.
And I’ll never look at carpet the same way again.
And, I got a deal. A STEAL.
From B, B & B. (Using that 20% off coupon FINALLY paid off in spades!)
Hubs put the puppy together in minutes flat. One click here, one click there. Done.
We started with the den. The room that we hang out in the most. OMG, people. The clutter, the unrecognizable thingies that were “continually sucked up” into my Dyson, I will never share with anyone. (You’d never come over again. Well, now you will come over cause all those thingies are gone, but then, you’ll think about all the times you did come over, and then cringe and then wince. And then tell me you’re busy washing your hair in China next Wednesday. And then the following Tuesday.)
And emptying the bagless wonder? S I M P L E. Click here, pull up on that, the bottom shoot opens and voila! Just make sure you have your canister over the trash can. Otherwise, your nasty mess is all over your floor. Then, you’ll have to vacuum again. And, believe you me, you never want to see that stuff more than once.
This gal is far from feeling guilty over spending some extra coins on this bad boy.
Now, what to do with my other vacuum? (Piece of crap, refurbished lemon from Overstock.com.) I have a couple of ideas….
I am in love with the UPS guy.
I have no idea what he looks like, nor was I here when he came by my house today.
But, the fact that he came to my house delivering my Peanut Shell Winnings, he is truly worthy of my love.
Yes, yes, it could of been a gal, but since my brother is a UPS guy, I think they all are guys, just my “thing”.
Aren’t they purdy?
And they even go with my new diaper bag!
I found this diaper bag via the celebrity babies website. It was reviewed from one of their writers. I haven’t used it yet. Waiting for the new babe to break it in!
UPS man also left me my new stroller, but I haven’t had a moment to put it together yet, so I’ll save that for a later post. It’s a RED jogging stroller. So stoked!
All of these “goodies” are making this ALL VERY REAL. HE WILL BE HERE SOON. But, if I know anything, I’ll be ready with my butt cream in one hand and a mini diaper in another. Too bad being “super prepared” for the baby doesn’t do anything for the upcoming, ongoing sleep deprivation of a newborn. Yikes!
evidence I actually spend time on myself, well, my hair that is….
Due to my current pregnancy state, I don’t have to wash my hair everyday. Hell, I wasn’t washing my hair everyday before I got pregnant. I’d say every other day was about standard. Now that I am pregnant? TWICE A WEEK. AND, my hair looks quite good in between shampoos. This did not happen my first go around, so I welcome this new addition to pregnancy wonderments! This so works for me. I do the whole nine yards on my hair one day on the weekend, then once during the week. Totally doable for “rather be doing something else besides washing my hair” me.
When I was asked what I wanted for Christmas, I had to really think about it. I truly didn’t think anything “clothing related” was a good idea since it would only last for such a short period of time. (except for this lovely sweater hubs got me. I so needed it and it’s soo cute!) So, I asked for really cool haircare products. Reasons why? Cause if I am going to get to be as big as a house/small condo and THEN have a 2nd child and REALLY have no time for myself, the time I do have better be worth the effort. The tools I use to better myself/hair better damn work.
So, these are my latest gifts that have made pulling myself together a joy.
hairbrush – My hairdresser used this brush on me and I LOVED it! Plus, my hair looked good when I left, so I thought the brush might have something to do with it. It truly grips each hair on my head with ease. Score!
flat iron – Another recommendation from miss whoorl. I have just started using this and have enjoyed getting those last waves out of my hair after a blow dry. My first attempt with the iron was letting my entire head dry naturally, then attack the whole wavy ‘do to make it straight. It so worked! It took half a nap, but it worked.
So, my point is this, I put my money where my “few and far between” free time is. If I am going to spend the time making myself look purdy, then I need it to happen on the first go. And, I am quite satisfied.
Oh, and I am 28 weeks as of this weekend, which makes me 7 months along, which makes me in the 3rd trimester. To celebrate the occasion, I took my monthly belly shot.
Here he comes now say, Mony, Mony!
And, if you look real close, you can see my beautiful “clear as day” veins on my belly. Seems my fair-ass skin is even more transparent these days than normal. Rock on.
Up next, pictures of nursery in progress. Currently, we are finished with painting. Woo hoo!