“Date Night”

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necklaceshirt / sweater (kind of similiar – mine is ancient! / jeans / boots (really similar) 

Not your average looking date night outfit, right? I’ve come to realize I need some time to myself to keep myself feeling balanced, but time together as a couple is definitely needed too. With both sets of our parents living two hours away, I’ll admit that my husband and I are the worst about making time to spend together without our son in tow. Alone time is typically reduced to watching a show together during that glorious couple of hours of afternoon naptime on the weekends.

But I can’t completely blame the lack of local family members to babysit, for a long time I was very much a mom who felt guilty giving up any time with her kid and I’m finally loosening up and getting so much better about this. So last Friday I finally stole this idea from another mom I know who also doesn’t have family right here in town, and that was to use that little sliver of time between quitting time on Friday afternoon and pick up time at daycare to sneak away by ourselves. We headed to our favorite bar that we used to head to pre-pregnancy/parenthood and even if we only had time for one beer and 45 minutes of conversation, it was just what I needed to disconnect for a bit and feel really good going into the weekend rather than the usual exhaustion that typically sets after a long week.

If motherhood has taught me anything, it’s to be flexible and take whatever small wins you can get. If that means that date night expectations shift from a nice night out and a typical date night look to a speed date in an outfit that had to fly for a work day spent advising (adult) college students then I’ll take it!

 

Linking up at Living in Color and Stylin’ in St. Louis

 

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7 Things

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1. I love treating myself to flowers and because you can always spend less than $10 and get some beauties at Trader Joe’s, so that’s always my go to place. For at least the past month red alstroemeria and eucalyptus were my go to, but with the eucalyptus gone from their stock we went with white hydrangeas and those pretty purple flowers Jacob’s holding. He picked them out, insisted on carrying them, and then helped me put them in a vase when we got home. Little lovey. 🙂

2. I’ve been fighting the idea, but I think I’ve finally decided to go back to being about 90% dairy free. It was easy to do the first time around because we suspected our son had a dairy allergy (and it’s since been confirmed) and since I was nursing, me giving up dairy relieved the signs of the allergy for him. Now that it’s purely for my own benefit of feeling better and healthier looking skin, it’s much harder to stick to it. Wish me luck!

3. Reading news story after news story about all that’s going on in our country, catching this cute zoo animal tweet off was just what I needed to feel a little more positive. So much cuteness, and the sloth tweet made me laugh!

4. Speaking of everything going on in our country lately, Bridget and Hallie had posts about it that resonated with me this week for different reasons. Bridget’s post described pretty much exactly the same reasons for typically not being vocal about politics, and Hallie’s reference to the struggle of whether or not it feels appropriate to stay positive, feeling like you can’t ignore the elephant in the room, and encouraging feeling joy each day guilt free really hit home for me. The day of the women’s march I got my hair cut and couldn’t help but felt a little shitty as I watched all these posts and videos on social media of women who were doing something of actual importance. Ugh.

5. And back to the fluff…I went to the store the other day and Africa by Toto was playing as I walked out. I can’t for the life of me hear that song without picturing this video of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. Remember it? It really makes me want to be friends with them! They have to be incredibly fun.

6. I don’t remember paying attention to any of the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows since I was in college and watched Trista and Ryan’s wedding special, but I let myself get talked into watching Bachelor in Paradise last summer. Now we have a low stakes Bachelor bracket going on (the loser each week brings in a dessert to share) so I can’t help but watch this season of the Bachelor. Rachel, Raven, and Vanessa are my favorite and I’m getting so annoyed by Corinne. I picked her to stick around one more week but I wouldn’t mine being wrong and seeing her leave sooner than I thought she would. 🙂 Are you watching, and if so who’s your favorite?!

7. I found these boots in brown on clearance for $15 this weekend at Target. I’ve been in love with them since I saw Shea wear them (especially paired a black top, my fav combination of colors!), but I need to decide whether they look right on me or if my 5’9″ frame leaves the top of them not quite hitting me high enough on my leg. We’ll see!

Linking up over at This Ain’t the Lyceum

 

 

 

Favorite Winter Color

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As soon as the temperature dips below 55, I swear this is the color I grab for and want to live in. I feel like we’ve called it many colors over the years, but burgundy works just fine for me. While I have a few options in this color to choose from in my closet, this turtleneck is the coziest of them all so on those cold winter days when I really want to be curled up in pajamas but this thing called a full time job prevents me from doing that. 😉

This is sounds weird to say that a piece of clothing taught me something, but one lesson this sweater taught me is to never completely trust the size. I think it’s from the days where I had the time and desire to go thrifting and found it in the brand new Target stock. It’s a XXL but looked small, so I gave it a try. Maybe it was mislabeled, maybe it was meant to be a much slimmer fit, but either way I don’t care because it’s been the perfect cozy fit for years now!

Currently

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For a vacation! Especially after reading Anne’s post about her plans for 2017. August 2015 was our last true vacation (because I don’t consider two nights in a cabin an hour from our house then a night by ourselves in Cleveland a vacation) when we went out to San Francisco to see family. This picture was Jacob’s first visit to the ocean when the whole family stayed just north of the city for the weekend and looking back on this picture, the hiking path through a lot of sand while taking turns carrying a heavy non walking 9 month old was so worth it to see this beach we practically had to ourselves.

Packing

I wish I could say I was packing for that vacation I said I was jonesing for, but unfortunately the only packing being done around here this month has been of the Christmas decorations and sending them back down to the basement.

Texting

My girls! There’s a group of 3 of us who are childhood friends and all live in the same city now. Two of us have little ones who turned 2 within 2 months of each other, and the third just had a baby the beginning of January so we’ve had plenty of group messages covering the topics of labor, surviving life with a newborn, and coordinating food deliveries. It’s been a really fun time (says the one just witnessing that stage of motherhood, not going through it 😉 – haha!).

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Wearing

Ever since they made the policy change to allow jeans all the time permanent at work, I swear all I’ve been wearing is jeans or black jeggings. I’m getting a little sick of denim, but not so sick of it that I’m willing to put on the tights that would be needed to wear a dress or a skirt. So in the meantime, I’m happy to have this flare style to break up all the skinny cut jeans.  to mix it up.

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Hearting

So vain, but the length of my hair. After it all of a sudden hitting an awkward length, I made an appointment and had it cut a little bit shorter again. I don’t think anyone even noticed, but to me it’s such a huge difference and it feels so much better!

Linking up with Anne and Erin

Fighting It

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We took advantage of some really nice (like 60 degree nice, which is crazy for January in the Midwest) weather the other weekend and headed outside as much as we could for a welcomed change of scenery. It was great, but that Sunday night Jacob didn’t want to sleep unless he was within an arms length of me so it should’ve been no surprise that when Monday morning rolled around he had a really runny nose, then on my drive home I felt that telltale sign of the faint tickle in the back of your throat that lets you know it’s coming your way too.

Thankfully we kept it from being the knock you down kind throughout the week, his sleeping habits and personality bouncing right back through the constant battle of runny nose vs. congestion and I kept my hot lemon and honey water with a cinnamon stick right by my side everyday. Toward the end of the  week though I started to feel worse so I knew I needed to up my game. Cold medicine, Epsom salt bath, and Zarbee’s for some relief. Heating pad with lavender in it (like this one) which was a Christmas present from my mother-in-law years ago and turned into one of my favorite things I never knew I needed, and homemade chicken noodle soup.

Now I’m in the wait it out phase so I’ll keep the cold medicine and hot lemon water coming and try to take each work day in stride, not letting anything stress me out. Plenty of rest and plenty of fluids too. Maybe one I’ll learn that the toddler germs are no joke and do a little better job prepping my body to fight them off!.

7 Things

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1. I know we’re wired to think our kids are the most adorable thing to ever walk the earth but come on – I can hardly resist that cute little face! On a middle of the week evening grocery store run we let this cutie get his way and push the kids cart because you know, the Wednesday night crowd is much smaller than the weekend morning crowd so less potential ankles for him to run into. Save for a little anxiety while guiding him through the wine aisle he did great! So great in fact that we let him do it again last weekend when it was busier too. Pretty sure it’s officially a habit now.

2. After having a drink at our favorite restaurant a few weeks ago that involved a mixture of fireball, peach schnapps, and ginger beer I have to say it’s turned into a new favorite drink. I’ve found that not having peach schnapps on hand shouldn’t stop one from mixing one up at home, so just ginger beer and a little bit of fireball have been the perfect cocktail on the occasion I decide I deserve a good drink!

3. Although it felt like a really insignificant thing to do last Saturday when my social media feeds were full of lots of women doing something SO much more important, I got my hair cut and it felt fantastic. As a fine haired girl with thin hair too, I think I’ve just accepted that any kind of length gets hard to manage. Look over here at my Instagram feed to the right to see what I think I’ve decided is the perfect length for me…

4. I had to laugh at myself on my way to daycare drop off the other day as I found myself scoffing at a middle school aged kid making his way to school on a hoverboard while talking on his cell phone, in my head shaking a fist and saying I never even had a cell phone until college and a hoverboard?! How unsafe! And then I laughed at my old sounding self and thought to myself, this will be our generations’ version of the ole “I walked uphill both ways to school” kind of treatment my generation seemed to get.

5. I feel like this is something that I heard from Rachel Hollis (admittedly I listen to her more on social media than I read her site), but it was the idea of battling clutter by starting with getting one room clutter free and keeping it that way, then gradually adding more rooms. I started with our master bathroom which may sound like a weird room to pick, but it always seems like the easier one to let get out of control. I’ve done an ok job keeping that one up lately, so let’s see how I do when I start adding other rooms.

6. The other night I was changing Jacob’s diaper as the Disney Channel was on in the background. A preview for Frozen came on because they must be showing it soon, but without missing a beat Jacob just started singing along to the Let it Go song and we lost it – toddlers are always good for a laugh! He hasn’t seen the movie, so I’m positive it’s from Disney music played at daycare.

7. I found this article on Babble about why most parents hold their babies on their left hip pretty interesting! I definitely fall into that category and it’s always felt unnatural to have him on the right side. What a momma’s body and mind are wired is always fascinating I think!

Linking up over at This Ain’t the Lyceum

Shopping Small

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Time has moved so quickly once we stepped out of that holiday break bliss that it feels like Christmas was way more a month ago. In fact, I’m fairly confident I’m the last one still getting around to post something about the holiday season. 🙂 But while we were still in those post Christmas, lounge around at home days, I realized that I wish-listed and gifted plenty of things for Christmas from the bigger retailers and am completely fine with that as those new Nike’s pictured above show (side note – these are the most comfortable shoes I’ve maybe ever owned). But one thing that’s become increasingly more important to me over the last couple of years is to not forget the smaller, more locally owned businesses, especially because it’s a really good way to find something that’s probably pretty unique.

This Christmas I incorporated a few gifts from small business owners and received some too, and by default of where we live also were all from makers here in Ohio. Here’s the details, with all but the breweries of course having the ability to shop online.

Gifted:

Earrings for my sister in law from Grey Goose Gifts. The main branch of our library here in Columbus has the cutest little gift shop and I found them while browsing around in there one day.

Earrings from a co-workers etsy shop for my soon to be sister-in-law.

Bottle opener made from a map for my brother-in-law because the map piece included a location that should be a little bit special to them. (Her etsy says she’s taking a break, but here’s a picture from IG) Had to include a barrel aged Christmas Ale too from an Ohio based brewery!

A 6 pack of beer from Columbus Brewing Company for my brother – he really likes their Pale Ale, so when I found a pale ale style that I hadn’t seen before I decided he needed to give it a try.

A car for Jacob that one of the employees at Celebrate Local so conveniently handed him while we were shopping one day. I couldn’t say no though when I read that they’re made by someone local with autism and the proceeds are a source of income that supports him. I can’t remember who made it, but there’s plenty of other goodies you can find on the stores’ site!

Coffee for my Dad’s stocking, bonus is that it made our car smell amazing while it hung out in our car all through the 2 hour drive to my in-laws on Christmas and until the next evening when we made our way to my family’s house.

My husband’s extended family does a gift exchange each year and you leave a wish list and draw names at Thanksgiving dinner. When my husband drew one of his cousins and hot sauce was on the list, then a little gift set from CaJohn’s.

Received:

Goodies from The Jones Market – this place is easily the winner as my favorite small business. This necklace (it’s out of stock right now, but if it comes back then snatch it! It’s beautiful) and the one pictured above, plus this silver bracelet all made their way home with me. I’m a happy, happy girl!

Sweater (pictured above) from Merchant 31 – I saw this while shopping with my sister-in-law and she went back and picked it up for me.

Mug from The Hotel Gallery, and after catching up on their website my mug must’ve been made by owner and potter Sally Watson. (mine pictured here on my IG.) Really have a thing for homemade pottery right now so this was a perfect gift.

Have any small business gems to share? I’m always looking for more!