Saturday, March 21, 2015

Summer Suit Up

"Seriously - he cradles my ta-tas when under duress. It's like he reverts back to the infant stage. Or maybe he's just a man..." I said to my Mom as she delivered the honest, brutal truth during a brave, had-to-have-a-cocktail first swimsuit try on marathon.

This year's requirements were different than last's, the results of nursing two children, being at my heaviest weight and reaching that magic age of 35 having changed my mindset. Plus the above description that Little L tries to pull at swim lessons right before he enters a 30-minute meltdown of aquatic joy. If I had my way, a tarp or some kind of A-line waterproof onesie would've been ideal in picking this year's suit, but apparently no one has invented those yet...

So it goes I ended up with this little number from Macy's:

Not too shabby. Under the hundy mark and made of durable material, an appropriate pattern that proves some rucking at the waist and capable of surviving weekly trips to the pool with a 2 and 5 year old make it ideal. Some wires that hike up the girls who have given up and enough material to cover the entire deiriere are also a bonus.  Requirements met.

Had it made me look 10 pounds lighter I would've dropped another $200 on it, but...

What will you sport this season?

Spring Cleaning

"Goal of getting rid of 10 things a day in full swing!" my Timehop ap reported, a pile of things to be donated featured as part of last year's post.

Despite my head and heart still being in the mode of less is more, my hands haven't quite been keeping up, the lessons of having two children and learning a new job taking priority. And quite frankly, still drowning me. How you amazing women with families, careers inside or outside the home, friendships, dwellings and mouths to feed manage to get through a day, I'll never know. You are simply awesome and I want to absorb all of your secrets!

With spring just arriving, the bug has hit again. And with a greater understanding of what I'm supposed to do Monday through Friday and what our little man's words mean, things are becoming a bit more routine. So it goes, the things must leave. Things that aren't used, loved, are beautiful/meaningful or are in multiples must go! And my secret weapon to make this happen:

Swap sites.

Oh, and grandparents I can con into playing with the kids for a few hours so I can actually get something done.

There are three main Facebook swap sites I've joined for the west side of the city in which I live, giving me access to more than 5k people who may want to purchase my goods. Just get invited in, snap a quick pick of the item you're selling, post a helpful description and meet up place and boom - you're good to go. There are quite a few rules (respond chronologically within 24 hours, that sort of thing), but overall I've found everyone I've exchanged with to be friendly, forgiving, fruitful and fun!

In the past two weeks alone I've sold 5 bags, 11 toys, 8 pair of shoes and some home decor. All within 30 minutes of posting! It's easier than Craigslist to post, manage and keeps it all a bit closer to home. Plus you can cyber stalk the person to make a strong of a guess as possible to their "normalcy" before doing an exchange.

A few tips: a) learn the site rules b) put only quality stuff on there c) price reasonably d) a short description is best e) take a good pic f) don't engage crazy g) accept cash only h) meet in public places.

And wa-la! You too could have a house with fewer items within days.

Happy swapping!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Geting in the Spirit

The green spirit that is.

St. Patrick's Day has never meant much to this family, our heritage in the under 10% and the recovery from birthdays, anticipation of spring break and Easter making it a quick second to all of life's other activities. That and a really great reason to purchase one of those green Jayhawk shirts with the snazzy sayings...

This year my attempt to at least acknowledge the day, despite our Easter decor already up, will include taking Big L to the warm-up parade, sporting some beads and having a bit o' leprachaun family fun:
Affordable and easy to execute, the St. Patrick's Day scavenger hunt from blogger Liz of Love Grows Wild will be on the weekend agenda. It's my hope it will burn a good 15 minutes of our wild child's time and simply delight the older one.

Plus, the Big has been really delving into the idea of whether or not leprechauns exist. I figure you gotta have a little bit of fun with them before they know way more than you.

Hope you and yours have lots of green goodness ahead!

Yum, Yum Gimme Some - Chocolate Cookies!

"Yes, so the standard Sloppy Joes with some sides about Texas Sheet cake cookies?! I spotted it on Pinterest."

I could practically hear the roll of my husband's eyes among the ESPN as he began to imagine the mess that was to unfold in the kitchen. But with a neighbor and dear friend who had recently welcomed her second son - it was a tear-up-the-kitchen must. Every new mom deserves chocolate!

And so it came to be that batches of Texas Sheet Cake Cookies from OMG Choccolate Desserts were born.

So easy even this un-domestic goddess can tackle them, they are a fabulous second to the actual sheet cake or my bestie's brownies with a layer of frosting so delicious, one can't feel her teeth afterward. Simply give yourself about 45 minutes, grab a 5-year old helper and follow the instructions.

Oh - and double the batch. You'll want some for yourself too.

Happy baking!

In Fixes - Again!

"3/12/2015: box #2 arrives today and I'm so excited I practially feel like sending a birth announcement."

That was my Facebook status this week. And lo and behold Stitch Fix delivers again:

Market & Spruce Angela Quilted Detailed Blouse

Fat Hilde Leopard Print Dolman Sweater

Collective Concepts Adela Embroidered Split Neck Top

Bay to Baubles Christy Layered Bauble Necklace in Navy

A pair of Kut jeans also came in the pack, the promise of denim fitting over these baby-holding hips coming very close to reality.

Of this, the blue blouse and leopard sweater will make the wardrobe cut, the most beloved of the pieces and still within budget. The cobalt shirt is uber comfortable, hiding all the right places (upper arms and tummy), is a show-stopping color and can be dressed up or down. Washable and with a pop of surprise in the back - a quilted pattern - it's the perfect blend of wanting to feel feminine and youthful while still fitting my age group. The animal print sweater is comfortable and the perfect length, bracing the hips and leaving plenty of room in the wobbly parts. Soft, vibrant and easily paired with accessories, it also has a hint of pink trimming the bottom, making it fun to pair with some obnoxiously bright flats.

Tish knocked it out of the park again and even better, she considered the pieces I had purchased from before, helping me build a versatile wardrobe. Next up, I'll challenge her to prepare me for my first vacation in five years and maybe even take the denim challenge again, the Kut still being a bit long and tight at initial wear. And this time we'll skip the baubles (one of my favorite parts of shopping because they always fit) and maybe request a flirty skirt or dress for spring.

Have you fixed yet?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

15 Signs You've Survived a Rebrand

1. Cursing in your cube is reduced by approximately 11-percent.

2. Bag stuffing is no longer a core competency to your role.

3. Every item in your office, home and car has your company logo on it.

4. Your family remembers your name and kind of what your face looks like.

5. Helvtica font is the straw that's going to break you, the camel's back.

6. That or the 101st complaint that the logo is too big on the email signature.

7. Your boss finally moves to number two on your most frequently dialed numbers.

8. You can start seeing teal again like a normal person vs. a PMS or CMYK color.

9. Box deliveries now excite you vs. giving you a panic attack.

10. Your best friend starts to learn as much about you again as your ad agency.

11. You eat lunch. In a break room for 10 minutes.

12. Your zen aura is now legit.

13. You can cut your Ambien at night in half and still sleep eight hours.

14. The concern of "what is it I'm going to be responsible for after this launches? becomes real.

15. You remember to go to the bathroom.

To my marketing pals - you get it, right?! And to the amazing colleagues who have helped make the vision and dream come to life - thank you. The first four months have been a wild ride and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Cheers to the new brand and all that is to follow!

Made Over

"So yes, I'm looking for something that makes me look awake at times...and what the heck is everyone's secret to their liner looking so fresh throughout the day?!"

With my beloved sis-in-law in town, it was the perfect time to steal a few girly moments, our first stop at Sephora to add a little pep to our steps. Because every gal knows a new lipstick means a renewed life...for a good few weeks at least.

Sis was in the market for the perfect red lip to accent her olive skin and big brown eyes, channeling one Miss Taylor Swift. I was looking for anything that made me look better than I really do while still being natural and taking less than five minutes. All a tall order.

With the Sephora store just being two days old and a bit discombobulated, we made our way around it, picking and playing with any shiny object that caught our eye. Two makeovers later, sis walked away with the perfect ruby pout, while I devised a plan to go to hit the old standby, the counter that never let me down: MAC.

Here, a young gal greeted us, her skin so natural and glowing that I just said: "Yes - that. I want to look like you."

Given she was barely 21, blonde, thin and even paler than me, I'm sure she had one of those moments every makeup artist does that sounds a lot like "Honey - I ain't a miracle worker."

But worked her miracles she did and I walked away with:

Blonde Streak shadow: the perfect neutral with a little sparkle -
just slap it on, add some liner and mascara and you're good to go!

Dipdown liner: the secret all along - liquid liner! Lasts all
day despite my insistent rubbing and forehead holding

Mineralize concealer: lighter than I usually do to manage my 2-6 hours
of sleep per evening but does the trick on all that purple

Brow pencil: I didn't believe until a bit of shading meant
a lot more definition to my face - what?
Couple this with my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, Younique lashes and MAC Blunt blush and I'm out the door.

And although even drastic color changes barely go noticed given my daily three-minute makeup jobs or constant lack of touch up, I still feel fresh mid-day, my liner intact and my look updated with what I think a woman in her mid-30s faking it until she made it should look like.

So thank you, friendly 20-something and MAC for winning me over again. Your counter never leads me wrong! I and my colleagues appreciate you...and my boys don't notice. But I do. So thanks.