Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions revamped.


I'm hoping that you guys are all looking forward to 2013. A new year always brings much excitement. I'm reminded of something that Zig Ziglar said. This is paraphrasing but essentially he said, why wait until the new year to make a change? Today is a new day! Make the change now.

But that's not really what I'm writing about tonight.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about what my resolutions for 2013 should be. Every year, I make a list of resolutions, typically between 5 and 10. Apparently, I like to overwhelm myself. As I'm sure you can guess, this approach hasn't worked out. I forget about them by March and don't think twice about them by December. And suddenly, I'm greeted with a new year. New resolutions! That never come to fruition.

So this year, I decided that rather than a list of resolutions I'm creating a bucket list. I don't view bucket lists as "have to" do. Rather, I see them as goals to hopefully achieve. I wish that didn't sound as flaky as it is coming across but at the moment, eloquence and clarity seem to escape me.

Moving on...

What is on this list? I'm not going to share the whole thing because I'm already up to 15. But here are a few:
-read 52 books that are not textbooks
-complete couch to 5k
-reach 600 books in my collection.
-open my etsy shop

What is on your bucket/resolution list for 2013?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wag of the Spoon: Girl Panties

Warning: this post might piss someone off.  You've been warned.

I decided this year to participate in the Christmas donation project that was taking place at Stephen's Mommy's Day Out program.  I offered to buy a pack of girl's underwear.  No age was indicated.  Just "Kid Size".  

(This story starts out innocent enough right?)

Off I went to the store with Kathryn (Note: I'm intentionally not naming the store).  When we arrived at the girl's section, there was a shelf unit set up specifically for displaying packs of girl's underwear.  Yay!  So easy right?  


Much to my dismay (yes...DISMAY), there was quite the selection for the style of underwear.  What do I mean style?  I mean, that the size 4 (that's for a FOUR YEAR OLD) underwear pack did not just come in your traditional briefs style.  No no.  You could also select "hipster" (...what?) or "bikini" (....jaw drop...EXCUSE ME?).  

Look, I am not saying that I don't have a collection from Victoria's Secret that has the most ridiculous amount of style choices.  Because I do and I'm proud of it.  But I'm also an adult woman.  

WHAT FOUR YEAR OLD NEEDS TO BE WEARING BIKINI UNDERWEAR?!  And look, when I say bikini, I'm talking underwear that has the two bands on the sides attaching the front and back parts of the underwear.  

Some people are really upset (and rightfully so) of the increase of teen pregnancy.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not about to point at these underwear packets and say "THERE'S YOUR PROBLEM!"  But I think it speaks volumes about how quickly our children are being exposed to a more sexualized nature if four year olds have the option of bikini underwear.  

So this Wag of the Spoon is going out to the panty brigade.  Let our little girls be LITTLE!

It's also going out to those who buy these.  Why?  Because if there wasn't a market for it, they wouldn't be made.  Supply and demand.  That's what keeps those wheels turning.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Connecticut shooting

I weep today for the victims of the shooting in Connecticut.

I weep for the family and friends of the victims and the shooter.

I pray for comfort and peace for all involved and touched by this tragedy.

I pray for peace and mental clarity for all those who may be silently suffering in their own depth of darkness.  

Today, I pray for a blanket of love on all of us.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When I posted my "Mommy Docket", I pointed out that there is a box on there specifically for "me" time.  To some, having time to yourself seems like a no-brainer.  You need to recharge...reenergize...unwind...decompress...whatever word you want to put in that blank.  

However, I found that once I had Stephen, finding "me" time or even making it into a priority was difficult for 2 reasons.
1) There is ALWAYS something that needs to be done.  I'm a stay at home mom, a full time grad student, volunteer, blogger, and freelance book reviewer.  I'm also a wife.  Go back and count that up.  That is six titles.  SIX.  There are 24 hours in the day and at least 7 of those have to go to sleep (preferably without interruption but that's pretty much up to Stephen).  I have a lot on my plate and yes, I do realize that most of that is by choice.  I don't have to freelance.  I don't have to keep this blog.  And I don't have to volunteer.  Technically, I don't have to go to school either but if I want to have a career, then I sort of have to.  

2) I have found that not fulfilling x, y, and z duties under any one of those titles has led me to feel a bit like a failure.  I think as moms (and I'm not saying the dudes can't feel this way...just can't speak on behalf of them because I don't know what it's like to be a man) it is very easy for us to get caught up in everything that we have to do.  Women, in general, seem to worry and stress more about things to do.  And what's worse is the mommy guilt.  Oh the guilt!  I was talking to a friend of mine the other day that realized she is angry about some things that have happened recently but hasn't processed any of it because she felt guilty about being angry!  We try to live up to this June Cleaver view of motherhood and let's face ain't happening. 

Just because we aren't June Cleaver doesn't mean that we aren't good moms.

And that's what I've been trying to tell myself.  

So what do I do for "me" time?  There is really a variety of things on my "me" time list.  I can tell you what's not on it.  


I used to love to veg out in front of the TV.  LOVE IT.  I could do it for hours.  But now, I find television almost obnoxious.  Don't get me wrong.  There are a few shows I'm devoted to (Bones anyone?) and I watch them without fail (Zooey Deschanel always makes me laugh on The New Girl).  What is it with those Deschanel girls?!  They are awesome!

Moving on...

But I can't do it anymore.  TV doesn't distract me or relax me anymore.  Especially with all the heinous trash that is on the TV now, why bother?  And yes, some of it is heinous trash.  I'm not judging anyone for watching it but let's call a spade a spade, shall we?

Rather, here's what I have found relaxes me, which lowers my cortisol levels (├╝ber important):

  • crochet
  • painting
  • knit
  • embroidery
  • paper crafts
  • calligraphy
  • writing
  • reading (for fun)
  • research (yes...I'm aware that I'm the biggest nerd on the planet)
  • meditating/prayer
  • yoga
  • working out (although to be honest, there hasn't been enough of this lately)

So, allow me to encourage you to take a little bit of "me" time today.  Whether you are a mom, student, dad, employee, CEO, monk, whatever...Take a little bit of time out of your day to just be you and revel in that for a little bit.  Lower your cortisol levels and breathe in and out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Excerpt of the day: Crochet Saved My Life

[Kathy Gleason] says, "knitting has been such a wonderful soother to my troubled mind that it's amazing to me that more people haven't discovered its therapeutic benefits. I think that in many cases, rather than a prescription for the latest designer anti-anxiety medications, doctors should write out prescriptions for several skeins of soft wool, and for the really desperate, cashmere."

From Crochet Saved My Life by Kathryn Vercillo

Book review to come soon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mommy Docket

Hmm..Maybe Mommy Docket isn't really the best title for the document.

Here's what happened.

Life got super out of control.  Juggling motherhood with a toddler and attempting to take four (that's right FOUR) grad school classes this semester has proven to be just on the other side of the crazy line.  And not the good side of it.  Eric would have simple requests for me to complete during the day time and by noon, I likely had texted or messaged him online saying "What did you ask me to do?" or "I'm sorry.  I forgot what you needed." or "Does this really have to be done today?  Because I'd much rather pull out my hair right now."  The tasks weren't even difficult.  Basic things like: do one load of laundry, unpack this one box of stuff, get dressed.  Whatever.

Fortunately, Pinterest came to the rescue in the middle of the night.  I noticed that a lot of mommy bloggers posted PDF versions of their "Mommy Docket" or "TO-DO TODAY" list.  After trying a few out over the course of a couple of weeks, I decided to make my own that makes sense for me.  Here it is:
I realize you can't really see that too well.  But let me break it down for you so that it hopefully makes some sense.  We'll go left to right, top to bottom.

The top left box is titled "Top Three".  This is where I write the three most important tasks of the day.  Usually, "Homework" is in there.  Why three?  Because I'll be honest, it's a big deal for me to get three things done in a day.  Stephen wants to play outside for about 18 hours a day which is not conducive to getting things done at all.  He also wants me to do every activity with him which is adorable, but again, not conducive to getting things done.  So I have three things on the list.  These can usually be completed during naptime or after he goes to bed at his strict bedtime of 7 pm.  It makes me feel really good when I scratch one off but when I scratch off all three?  Well, bring on the champagne!

The next box (top right) is my "Honey Do" list.  Eric usually has one thing that he'd like for me to do.  It's usually things that I already planned on addressing that day (i.e. laundry) but sometimes, he really needs a load of whites done specifically.  This is where I write those little notes down.  

There is also a box for appointments.  I only have space for four different appointments because time-wise I cannot afford any more in one day.  But we never have that many appointments in one day anyway.

Errands.  That sort of speaks for itself but seriously, sometimes, I cannot remember that I need to go out and buy a gallon of milk even if I've opened the fridge four times that day to find that we don't have any.  

Calls to make list.  This is UBER importante for me.  I can NEVER NEVER remember who I am supposed to call (that explains why I haven't called you right?).  

"Dinner prep" is the box that I write the dinner menu in.  Also, if it's more complicated than protein-rice-salad, I'll add notes to myself like "Begin marinade at 4" so that I can remember to do specific tasks at certain times.  

"All About Me" is a section that is there specifically to remind me to take care of myself.  Honestly, I am TERRIBLE about taking care of myself.  HORRIBLE.  DOWN RIGHT STINKING BAD AT IT.  Add a baby and grad school into the mix and it's a cluster of ... poo.  That's the nice way to say it.  I'm working really hard at correcting this though and part of this endeavor is taking 30 minutes a day for just me.  But there will be a post in the near future to elaborate on this.  

Like the starburst???

Finally, "Weekly Goals" are super important to me.  I find that if I see the larger goals that need to be done by the end of the week, I can remember to work on them little by little.  This can be a big paper for school (which I've recently completely two of) or this can be a project in the house.  It's always different.  Sometimes, the weekly goal is to workout five times in the week.  Who knows?!  

So there you go.  That's my mommy docket/to-do today list.  If you'd like a copy of it, please let me know.  I'll be happy to email you a copy of it.  FOR FREE!  What up!?  

No seriously.  It's not copyrighted or anything like that.  So it's up for grabs.

I'd also like to make a shoutout to  I used their service to convert the pdf version of that document into a jpeg.  And it was SUPER fast, SUPER easy.  Just how I like it.  Conversion, that is, you gutterheads.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Birch Box rave

I've already talked to some of my friends about this and if I've talked to you about this already, I won't be offended if you skip this post altogether.

I am emphatically in love with Birch Box.

I discovered it through one of the blogs I follow, Fantabulously Frugal (follow her now if you don' won't regret it).  I warn you: if you go to the blog and click on the Sample Box page, you may get swept up in it and never return.

Moving on...

Birch Box is a sample box subscription company.  For $10 a month, you receive a box in the mail with 5-6 samples.  What samples are they?  Here are a few things I've received in the last three months:

-Three organic tea samples
-Larabar sample
-Four different perfume samples
-mascara sample
-lip gloss sample
-face wash sample
-beach wave creme sample
-conditioner sample
-shampoo/conditioner sample pack
-highlighter sample
-BB cream sample
-primer sample

and more.

What's the big deal?  The big deal is really the quality of the samples you are getting. These are great companies with great products.  Granted, not all products are going to work for everyone (that's a given).  So some of the samples may not be good for you but you can pass those along to a friend as a little gift for fun.  Either way, it's a fun treat for you every month.  There are a couple of subscription options and if you choose to go on a month to month basis, you can always opt out if you want to.  If you decide you love one of the samples, just go to the site and order it!  The sample box comes with a card that describes each item and tells you the price for the full size item so you can have an idea if the item fits in your budget or not.  Yay!

If you would like to sign up, click the link below to get an invite to join:
Join Birch Box!

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