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?