Friday, January 23, 2015

Saying No To Pasta

August is four months old now. He's growing, thriving, learning, and loving. It's time for me to start healthier routines.

Right around the new year I made that decision, and I feel better for it. I've been taking August on morning walks, which he often falls asleep during. I've been trying to get out of the house and do things and see people.

One big change is my diet. No, I'm not dieting to loose weight yet, but I am trying to make healthier choices in what I eat. More vegetables, less sugar, even cutting out pasta. No pasta! That's been my staple food since I started cooking for myself! But I've been intentional about it and I've found a lot of healthy foods on Pinterest. Who knew so many tasty meals didn't have pasta? Or even rice or potato as a main ingredient? I'm liking avocado and eggplant and zucchini more and more.

I'm pretty proud of myself. I haven't been overly strict with myself, since I am still breastfeeding and August needs my calories. It's about balance. 

I'm hoping some of these habits will stick around.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's So Fun To Get Mail

I've signed up for several subscription boxes over the last few years. I love it! I get to try things I never would have thought of myself. Sometimes it's great, and sometimes not, but the fun is in the surprise. Here are a few subscription boxes I've tried:

This is probably my favorite. It's a clothing service. You fill out a (fairly extensive but fun) style survey, and for a $20 styling fee a personal stylist sends you five clothing items or accessories. You can set your preferences to receive a box twice a month, once a month, every other month, or when you request one. Keep what you want and send the rest back. Your $20 styling fee goes toward any purchase you make, and if you keep all five items you receive a 25% discount. Usually I'm pretty impressed with their choices, both in style and size. I almost always keep at least two things from my box. All their pieces are designer brands (so a bit more expensive than I'd spend in a store) but great quality. Often times it's only the cost that keeps me from keeping all of it! I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to step up their fashion game, or round out their wardrobe with fun statement pieces. On a side note, I wish they had a once-a-season shipping option. Once every three months would work better with my budget.

This is a box for babies and children. You receive a box monthly of toys, products, or snacks based on your child's age and gender. You can get monthly boxes for $29/month, three months for $27/month, or six months for $24/month. We've gotten two boxes from them so far, and August has found a couple favorite toys from them (although I'll admit at this age he's equally interested in my hairbrush or a Triscuits box). They often include coupons for Mommy, too. They give you a chance to customize each box, but usually that just means choosing a color or type of a pre-chosen toy. It's a nice subscription for trying new brands and getting a good quality set of toys for your little one.

This is a beauty box subscription. For $10 a month, you receive five samples of various beauty, makeup, lotion, or perfume samples. I tried it for six months, and discovered several new interesting products, including Eyeko liquid eyeliner, Chuao chocolate, and Tocca lotion. The best thing for me was their points system. If you do a short review of each product from your box you try, you earn points toward products in their store. For me, the ratio of wins to just "meh" samples was just off enough to not make it worth continuing. Ipsy is a similar service I may consider trying sometime in the future as well.

This is another clothing subscription box I've tried. Granted, I've only gotten one tote from them, but I'm looking forward to doing it again! Each month you can choose to buy the $49 Tote with 2-3 clothing items (one you choose, the others surprises), or the $149 Tote with 5-7 items (two you choose and the rest surprises). You fill out a very short style and size survey, which they use for curating the tote. Unlike Stitchfix, Golden Tote is an all-or-nothing deal. You can't return single items from your Tote, instead you would have to return the entire Tote. It's probably a better deal than Stitchfix, but the designer styles are different and less personalized.

I got this one for my mom's dog this Christmas. (Beware! If you don't tell me what you want for a Christmas gift, I may get creative! Lol) You tell them the size of your dog, and they send you toys and treats for your fuzzy friend. All the treats are grain and corn free, which is good for dogs with allergies. My mom received a rope toy which fit her dog's small mouth, a pleasant surprise.

I just signed up for this one, thanks to a 60% off coupon in this month's Citrus Lane box. Kate Hudson is a founder of Fabletics, which offers stylish athletic wear. With the VIP subscription membership, you choose an athletic outfit every month starting at $49.95. You can choose to opt out on a monthly basis, but you'll be charged if you don't reply to the opt in or out email by the 5th of the month. This is a great subscription to expand your workout wardrobe (read: casual Mommy clothes for me). I just got my first outfit, and it's full of nice touches, like a secret pocket in the workout leggings. 

This isn't a box subscription, it's an online meal planning subscription, but I love it so I want to mention it. Dave Ramsey approved, Emeals sends you weekly specialized meal plans based on dietary and store preferences. You can choose Paleo, Classic, Clean Eating, Mediterranean or more plans. Some plans offer store specialization so you can shop the sales and BOGO deals. It costs $30 for three months, $48 for six months, and $58 for a full year. (Note: I think these prices are a bit lower than usual because of a two week free trial deal they're running right now). I love it because I get bored of making the same meals all the time. None of the meals require tons of ingredients, and they're conscious of limiting food waste. I'd definitely recommend it. 

*Note* I included my referral link on some of these, so if you sign up via my link, I can get credit towards their service. Yay!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hair

Y'all. My child has crazy hair. It's like he has 16-year-old hair in the back, 60-year-old in the front, and it's thinning on the sides. 


Part Mohawk, part combover.


A mo'over. My baby has a mo'over. 


It's kind of ridiculous.

But ridiculously cute.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weird Things to Tell a Mommy

When I was pregnant, I was pleasantly surprised how few weird comments were directed at me. I almost never had to answer too personal questions and no one tried to touch my round belly. 

Then I had the baby. 

Babies seem to break down social barriers. Random people come up to me just to look at him. I don't usually mind - I love looking at his sweet smile, too. But sometimes people say the weirdest things around newborns. Here are a few recent gems:


1. While shopping, I've been asked several times by several people, "What aisle did you get him on?" Ok, I know they were trying to be cute, but it's a pretty weird thing to say if you think about it. It implies that I bought (or conceived!) him in the grocery store. Or even that they want to buy my baby. So inappropriate. My baby is an independent person, not property. Even in an adoption situation, in which money is exchanged to bring the child home, parents are paying for the services and paperwork required, not for the child him- or herself. I feel like people need to think about the implications of their words before they speak them - especially to a stranger.


2. "I just want to eat him up!" Cannibalism. Enough said.


3. "She is so cute!" Gender doesn't have to be an awkward guessing game, y'all. Feel free to ask me "What's your baby's name?" or "Is your baby a boy or a girl?" I love answering questions about my child! But don't assume that he's a girl because he has a lot of hair. Or if you can't tell from his name, please ask me to clarify. Gender is a know-before-you-go subject in my book. By the way, August is a boy's name and Augusta is a girl's name.


4. This is more of a "weird thing to do." Strangers touching my baby. One of the perks of baby wearing is that fewer people try to grab my son's hand or foot when he's attached to me. Look, I know my kid is cute, but it's never okay to touch without asking. I don't know you and you don't know me. I don't know if you're healthy or have the flu. You don't know if my son is immunosuppressed from a long stay in the NICU. So (little old ladies in Publix), unless you're a good friend of mine, never touch my adorable baby without asking first. 

***

These are just some of my pet peeve things about my son. I'm sure other moms have their own red-button topics: what or how they feed their children, a mom's choice to work or stay home, criticism of their kids' clothing... I've been blessed not to deal with anything too offensive! I'm sure I've accidentally offended other moms from time to time. But I hope each of you are sensitive when talking to mommies you may not know!